COVID impact, new trends and research in Civil Engineering and Construction | Adamas University

COVID impact, new trends and research in Civil Engineering and Construction

View of a construction site Civil Engineering

COVID impact, new trends and research in Civil Engineering and Construction

For the last two and half years, people of this planet have experienced a pandemic situation due to outbreak of Novel Corona virus. As per the situation, there is scarcely any country that   has remained unchanged by the harshness of this virus. Our country is not an exception from this pandemic. Sometimes positivity rate of Corona Virus came down but suddenly it has started a reverse flow towards higher positivity during the last three waves happened till date. Not only the human lives but most of the commercial activities also had been suffering by the pandemic. Some industries might had overcome the pandemic situation but most of them faced much difficulties and obviously construction engineering sector was also in the list.

The construction industry and civil engineering add mainly to the Indian economy. The unfavourable situation due to pandemic has caused all construction projects to come to an end suddenly but the jobs in design sectors were managed by work from home. Construction  industry,  the  main  pillar  of  the  national  economy had  faced  a  long  challenge  like  regulatory  burden  under environmental laws which  had  coupled  with  the pandemic. Subsequently lockdown   imposed to deal with the situation restricting the movement of people, gatherings and strictly   maintaining social distance.  All  these  had  made  a  tremendous  effect  in  Indian  economy  and  construction  industry  has  been  halted  throughout  the  country.

In India, the dilemma for the Civil engineering sector is high and it is infuriated and hard to treat with as there is no standard format of contracts for construction sector. There could be immense variations in particular state of affairs of a Construction and Engineering contract. Although, there is standard forms of construction and engineering contracts by International Federation of Consulting Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers and Indian Institute of Architects but at that times they are eagerly settled and hence it lost uniformity.

In most of the construction and engineering, contracts parties generally mention the time of   completion of works. Due  to  Novel  Corona Virus,  workers  did not  feel  safe  to  work  in the construction  site  and  they  returned  to  their   home  leaving  their  job. So,  many of the  projects were not completed  in  stipulated  period  and  the  contractor  became  a  defaulter. In some cases, contractors had to pay compensation for delay in completing the project.

Government of India declared closing of all universities, colleges and schools. The whole education system suffered a lot due to the situation and came to a worst situation. To  Cope  with the  situation, online classes were started but by the method, teacher was unable to identify the effective attendance of a particular  student for the entire class session but one good  thing  is  that  there is no loss of time for to and fro during  online  classes and  as most  of  the time  students  remain  at  home, they  can  easily  join  some  other  online  activities like attending in Webinar, others Professional course etc. to  improve  their  knowledge  and  skill . In case of  normal  situation  when the  students  would attend classes  physically, it  would not be possible for  them to attend such  courses which even conducting from abroad also.

But online system had disadvantage also. It was not possible exactly to evaluate a student in the online examination as some of students took help of open book, open study materials, internet search and help from friends during examination time. Some students received participation certificate of Webinar without attending attentively.                                                                        

As a result, some changes happened in Civil Engineering and Construction sector to adopt the situation. Earlier contractors in the sites would to hire many labours to complete the project. But due to pandemic, contractors hired less number of labours and used many machineries in construction works. Ready mix concrete was brought from Batching plant instead of producing concrete at site. Digital system, like Building Information Modelling and integrated project management platforms were already recognized as digital building blocks for the construction industry. Also, repetitive and dangerous works that people want to avoid means implementation of automation can support the industry’s labour and skills crisis. At that moment, robotic automation deals enormous possibility to increase output, efficiency and flexibility of construction process throughout the construction industry, as well as to automate the fabrication of modular houses, robotic welding and material handling on construction sites, robot 3D printing of structures. As well as building the industry safer and more cost efficient, robots are recuperating sustainability and dropping environmental impact by enhancing recycling by means of cutting waste. Robots can produce safer construction by managing heavy loads, working in unsafe locations and enabling safer ways of construction. With the industry producing increased environmental pollution and the need for more cost-effective structures, robotic automation reduces waste by improving quality, which is important when it’s approximated that up to a quarter of materials out of total materials  transported to a construction site leaves as waste. With automation and digital technology, Engineers can also design waste out at the beginning of a project through effective Building Information Modelling and construction processes.

Very renowned Universities like us designed Smart Lab by which student can watch a live demonstration of all parts of a particular experiment. Virtual Internship was also arranged for the student. In Virtual Internship, the video of Construction site works were shown to students by the Senior executives of the company. The conduction of recruitment drive was also easier as it was done online. Students had not missed even any event as all were organised by online mode. By using of digital library, students were able to view and download books, journals. Research activities were not stopped also during the pandemic situation. Researcher provided priority on Analytical research than Descriptive research in the current situation and also changed the area of research to suit Analytical research.

In a concluding remark, Every problem has a best solution; you just need to discover it.

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