Geberit and SICC conducts seminar on innovative Swiss technologies for smart and sustainable buildings in India

Swiss and European leader in the field of sanitary technology and bathroom ceramics, Geberit along with the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC) recently held an interactive seminar and panel discussion on the topic “Innovative Swiss technologies for smart and sustainable buildings.” The panel comprised CXOs from various Swiss building and manufacturing companies in India.

Introduction to the seminar was delivered by Abubaker Koya, MD, Geberit India and President–SICCI South, Conny Camenzind, Deputy Consul General of Switzerland in Bengaluru delivered the Introductory speech, and Marylaure Crettaz Corredor, Head-Swiss Cooperation Office and Counsellor, Embassy of Switzerland did the honours of theme setting.

Koya in his welcome speech, mentioned that “Given the fast-paced changes ushered in by the new real estate regulation act RERA, builders are open to adopting new technologies and solutions which are sustainable, cost efficient and help in faster construction eg. Prefab solutions etc. They are also seriously looking at lifecycle costs instead of limiting themselves to the capital costs alone.”

The panellists included Mayank Kalra, Director-Sales, HILTI India; Amol Adlakha, Executive Director, Regent Lighting; Hardeep Singh, Managing Director, Forbo Flooring; Vincent Pinto, Sr. Vice President-NIB, Schindler India; Sandeep Kaul, National Sales Manager, Mupro India; Soumendra Mishra, National Head-Specifications & Projects, Sika India; and Gorika Shyam, National Sales Manager, Geberit India.

This set the direction for the panel discussion of the evening which was moderated by R.K. Gautam, Director-Sustainability, Cushman & Wakefield.

“Swiss companies have taken the leadership position in sustainability for many years and it is time for these companies to bring in their technological leadership to the emerging markets,” said Hardeep Singh.

On the question of how Swiss technology support environment sustainability in buildings, Pinto, said that in the context of elevators, product innovation has contributed to the sustainability cause at Schindler India. “For instance, shift from the rope to belt has helped in reducing the power consumption and bring in energy efficiency, further usage of recyclable material and space saving of the building shaft are the other important factors,” he said.

While Kaul made a valid point relating to decadent practices in the construction industry. According to him, when a project is envisaged at the designer level, much of the investment is earmarked for the superstructure and not much attention is given to the services that are running inside the shaft—for instance, rainwater, supply water, drainage, HVAC, and other such utilities are never envisaged at the design stage. “Having said that, today standards in India are evolving,” he quipped.

Gorika Shyam added that the lifecycle costs start right from the time a building is designed. “RERA has forced the builders to look at the lifecycle cost and not the upfront cost of the building,” she said. “It is important that we convince the designers, architects and developers and builders on the long-term sustainability of the product and not as a mere budgetary requirement.”

Overall, the panel discussion ended on a positive note with  regard to adopting of sustainable practices as a way forward.

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