Home buyers these days are concerned with how long their building will last given the punitive cost of purchasing a home and the problems of water seepages and cracks that develop as soon as they move in. Here Sheikh Jamaluddin speaks to Shirish Atchut Kamat a structural consultant who recently opened Ansh Structural Lab in Porvorim. It is the first private facility in the state and expected to help stakeholders in the local building and construction industry
What inspired you to start this first- of- its- kind lab for testing building construction materials?
Now-a-days we hear of buildings and bridges everywhere collapsing like a pack of cards and only afterwards it is realized that these incidents were due to poor quality of construction materials. I always dreamt of having a full-fledged construction material testing lab which came to life with the opening of this facility. Only the government has this kind of material checking and testing facility but there was no such private facility in the state so I thought of starting such a lab which will benefit Goans in the construction business. My main aim was that no person should suffer and repent after spending hard earned huge amount of money on building a house or a bungalow or a commercial establishment. I started my practice in the year 1993 as a structural consultant. During the course of my practice I realized the necessity of a lab of this kind.
In what way will the lab help the local construction industry?
This facility will help structural consultants, architects, builders, engineers, contractors, consultants to ensure that the quality of materials procured and used at site are genuine as it often so happens that the faulty works and poor quality material goes unnoticed as the contractors and suppliers do not have a testing facility at site. The lab will allow concerned entrepreneurs to test hardened concrete, reinforcement bars, aggregates including sand, and water. We have flexural testing machine, compressive testing machine and accelerated curing tank, universal testing machine. Besides we have a non destructive testing lab which is useful for on-site testing of concrete and corrosion in reinforcement which has NABL accreditation.
What are the services the lab offers?
The lab conducts testing of hardened concrete, reinforcement bars and aggregates. There are in all 81 tests in four disciplines, namely rebound hammer, ultra pulse velocity meter, cover meter, half cell potential meter and thickness gauge indicator provided as part of our services. We have installed hot oven to test structural components like cement blocks, steel rods, sand and aggregate and trigonometry to find density and volume of solids, another machine to test structural components on site, rebound hammer that gives compressive strength, ultra-sonic pulse velocity, half cell potential test which checks the probability of corrosion in reinforcement, ultra sonic pulse velocity to know the safety of the structure and NABL.
What are your future plans?
Our future goal is to expand our horizon by adding concrete mix design, testing of cement and soil testing to this facility in addition to the existing services. ’