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Real Estate sector contributes about 6.3% of GDP in India and accounted for about 7.6 million jobs. Its contribution to India’s GDP is estimated to increase to about 13 per cent by 2028, on the back of increasing industrial activity, improving income level and urbanization. Housing sector is fourth largest employment generating sector, 99.41 per cent of the jobs in housing sector are informal jobs primarily comprising labourers. In today’s modern era a large number of consultants and engineers are playing a very crucial role in shaping up the real estate sector.  These consultants provide the latest technological know-how, design innovations, use of modern materials and tools to take informed and precise decisions.

At various stages of the project, number of specialized consulting & engineering firm guides and shapes Developer’s vision. At the project conceptualization stage, there are consultants that come up with market feasibility studies, valuation and demand assessment. Specialized legal firms assist in land due-diligence, title certificate, contract and other agreements.  Amongst all involved, the engineering consultants play a vital role in planning, designing, supervising and undertaking maintenance of any type of structure according to the requirements of project and the developer. Consultants from across various professional services provide independent expertise on engineering and related areas to the government organizations, industries, developers and construction firms. Most engineering services are offered through consulting companies on a project-by-project basis, but are also frequently offered by sole practitioners.

Every project has a specific target to be achieved within a particular timeline and pre-determined cost. To achieve it, the planning, controlling and implementation of parameters like size, quality, productivity, completion time & costing need to be strictly evaluated. Here, the structural engineer can make a lasting contribution depending on his skill, experience and expertise, as, the final outcome is the evaluation of such important parameters.

I would here focus on the two pillars of any real estate development – Architects and Structural consultants. Quite often, a question on how architects and engineering consultants serve differently is raised. Stereotypically, architects are considered to be the ones who make drawings on large sheet of papers and engineers to be the ones yelling instructions to workers on site. However, there are marked differences between the fields of architecture and other engineering fields. In fact, the two practices have well-defined responsibilities that make them distinct from each other.

Architecture is mainly a practice of designing structures with aesthetics and spatial functionality in mind. They also possess knowledge of structural mechanics but their primary focus is always on the functionality integrated with creativity and design for an assigned 3-dimensional space. Architects play with the spaces and their voids to make it a meaningful habitat.  Structural vision starts from the inception of the design, where, engineering consultants specialize in the structural elements of systems ensuring that facilities can withstand normal and extreme loading conditions. They work closely with architects and are responsible for making the vision of architects into a realization. Both play an essential role in ensuring the quality and safety of a modern building or the structure and hence are interdependent in nature. Nowadays, AEC firms have evolved themselves to integrate technological advancements into building design. From energy modeling on the fly to prefabrication of building systems, these advancements are potential game changers thus helping developers to tune their developments and delivery to the modern requirements.

On the whole, consultants together create, execute and offer solutions that not only look good on paper, but work in practice. Any engineering consultant will study project reports including their financial feasibility and prepares a relevant drawings and designs, invites tenders with strict adherence to procedures and supervise to assure that high quality standards are achieved. He also advises on repair, alteration and maintenance required in existing structure. Their knowledge is of utmost to detect possible risks well in advance of the construction considering they take into account all aspects for evaluation.

The current trend has seen developers hiring international or renowned consultants to develop their projects and bring in newer trends with their expertise. With every developer claiming to be unique in his own way, consultants can ensure that a particular project or structure can outshine in the clutter. It’s a necessity to engage the best in the engineering business to attaining the long term objectives of establishing a brand and the credibility that comes along with it.

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