There is a visible increase in the need for residential spaces as the city expands beyond its traditional boundaries. With the influx of people into the city for work and business, the real estate sector is witnessing a surge in demand for homes and office spaces equally. This increasing demand shines light on the resource availability for the sector. A key component for the realty industry, sand is the backbone and quiet literally forms the foundation of the industry. Over the recent years, owing to rapid expansion sand has become a depleting resource due to plethora of reasons.
A primary component of concrete along with other alternates, Natural Sand or river sand as it is commonly referred to is considered to be the gold of real estate. This non-renewable resource, is high on demand for construction purposes and equally available in scarce which is crippling the development of the industry. As a relief to the sector, a recent alternate that is making headwinds in India is Manufactured Sand (M-Sand).
Strikingly different from river sand in its properties and nature, M-Sand is made out of rocks by artificial process. Procured from specific hard rock (granite), M-Sand is free of silt materials and organic impurities which are best suited for concrete construction, making it an ideal alternate for natural sand.
Scarce availability of river sand: The real estate industry is at a tipping point, balancing demand for housing on one side and managing supply of materials on the other side. With sand consumed on larger scale, the resource continues to be available in scarce. This brings into light quality of sand used in construction. Decreasing availability if quality river sand was the primary and fundamental reason for developers to look at alternates like M-Sand.
Supplier challenge: Bangalore real estate industry faces a domestic shortfall of sand. The existing depots supply approximately 2,500 lorry loads as opposed to the state’s demand, which stands at 35,000 lorry-loads every day. With legal units in select districts operating maximum capacity, there is still a widening gap of supply and demand. To bridge this gap, developers are increasingly relying on M-Sand as an alternate.
Sustainable alternative: Sensible and sustainable construction is the real need of the hour. Sustainable construction primarily begins with the material procured and used for construction alongside of other factors. A pivotal reason for developers to jump shift in using M-Sand is to prevent dredging of river beds. Other factors of dredging, like groundwater depletion, water scarcity also continue to threaten the environment driving developers to adopt M-Sand as an alternate. The Government has regulated laws pertaining to usage of river sand and encourages developers to use alternates like M-Sand as a measure to protect the environment. Appropriate usages helps strengthen concrete, less effort for mixing and placement of concrete, and thus increasing productivity of construction at site.
Transportation and logistical issues: Bangalore realty industry is facing a domestic shortfall of sand. This also throws light on the availability if sand within close boundaries which continues to grow as a challenge for the industry. Currently, developers are sourcing natural sand from different parts of the country thereby heavily relying on third parties for transportation and logistics. The skyrocketing prices involved in transporting the materials and increasing dependency on third parties is emerging as a bottleneck for the industry. However, M-Sand on the other hand is readily available thanks to the many institutes setting up production locally in the state.