Sustainable infrastructure development through innovative approaches in technology
Technology has been revolutionising almost every aspect of our lives. From communications to education, to shopping and now even our daily work, everything is being supported by technological advancements. In today’s scenario, technology has been playing a big part wherein computing power has increased many folds and sophisticated software is supporting us to make our lives even more convenient and automated. The infrastructure industry, which is the backbone of our economy, hasn’t been untouched by this development. Using the latest technological advancements, recently, NHAI of India was able to set a Guinness World Record in highway construction, wherein 75 kilometres of road stretch was constructed in Maharashtra in about 105 hours and 33 minutes.
Tech innovation in infrastructure development
Technology has provided us with an imminent solution for the growth of the infrastructure industry. It is solving some of the most difficult challenges, that infrastructure faces on a day-to-day basis. Downtime losses are significantly reduced through innovation. Construction companies, which battle time-critical targets, now rely on telemetry data to relay real-time equipment performance and fitness information. For instance, sensors embedded in these machines are networked to a common interface, which can gather data on the optimum working loads and uptime of heavy equipment. This telemetry and Internet of Things (IoT) technology enables fleet managers to be in command and handle the working load of a machine to optimize assignments even better. Enough data on working capacity and machine uptime can help the fleet manager correct any machine performance deficiencies to meet the project deadlines. Further to this, the fitness data of a machine can prepare the fleet manager to order repairs and anticipate a service requirement beforehand to avert any unexpected downtime losses and delays. As per a recent report, nearly 62% of equipment breakdowns occur due to a lack of insight on maintenance. Thereby, it is critical to have predictive technology and intelligent data on the equipment to manage such situations well.
Combating climate change with sustainable infrastructure
As per estimates available from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the global average temperature reached 1.1 degrees Celsius more than it was in pre-industrial times, making climate change the harsh reality of the modern era. A 2021 report from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) has pointed out that the role of infrastructure in climate change has been overlooked, which is responsible for 79% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, the infrastructure industry is not far behind in being a forefront contributor to making things better. Green building codes are being placed by governments the world over to bridge these gaps. While Singapore plans to use the Green Mark to certify its commercial construction by 2030, in Europe, the Energy Performance of Budlings Directive mandates all new construction to be nearly zero-energy waste starting in 2021. In India, construction companies are now conscious of environmental labels and are choosing energy-efficient technological practices to take their projects further. From using energy-efficient lighting and air-conditioning in buildings to choosing energy-saving architecture, much is being done now. The focus has also gone on using homegrown and recycled building materials for construction to reduce the overall carbon footprint like fly ash and green coal (made of agricultural residue).
Future of sustainable infrastructure development using technology
The future of sustainability in infrastructure is the need of the hour. Technological interventions are not only optimizing construction businesses to reduce their carbon footprint but environment-friendly best practices and recycled raw materials are being brought into the game. The fraternity is doing its bit to recover from the damage that has already been done post the rapid industrialization of our era.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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