12

February

Real Estate and Property Discussions on Radio Show by GEM Engserv Directors

“Shashank Vaidya and Jagdish Raje, directors of GEM Engserv appeared on the talk show – Square Feet on 94.3 FM Radio One to talk about Quality in Construction and the importance of Building Services in the context of Real Estate today. They started with explaining the meaning of quality in terms of property in general as well as applied specifically to the context of affordable housing. A few lesser known best practices observed in other regions were highlighted. They also spoke about how quality begins in the planning and design

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12

February

ARE WE CREATING EXPENSIVE DEATH TRAPS?

Sensational heading? Possibly. Is it far from the truth?  Sadly, the answer is NO. Please read on.

Mumbai has experienced 400 fires in 2017. That is one fire per day on an average. Many lives have been lost recently in Mumbai.  The reasons are still being investigated. If the newspaper reports are to be believed, then the blame has been assigned to activities not permitted by the authorities, to temporary construction built out of combustible material, to electrical short circuits and to lack of fire escapes etc. In due course of

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27

May

PRECAST CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION

In the mid-nineties, I was heading a civil design department for a large EPC contractor in South East Asia.  We had received an order to build a paper plant.

The primary building in a paper plant is the paper machine building. A typical paper machine building is about 300 m long. The building typically has two floors, one at ground level, and one at about 7.5 m level. The paper machine is installed on a foundation that is not connected to the building. The machine is accessible from the machine hall

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26

May

Is Quantity Estimation just length x width x thickness?

Master planning, Architectural planning, design of structures & services and Project Management are some of the highly ‘professional’ services in the value chain of a Real Estate Project. Having cut our teeth in the Structural Engineering and Management profession we, promoters of Gem Engserv, surprised ourselves by agreeing to start an Engineering Consultancy Services which had QS as its core service!

Gem Engserv started as a company providing Quantity Take Off services to ITSI [now Gilbane Federal], which focuses on construction for the US Government’s federal projects. Based on the success

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precast-concrete-walls-e1473765074114

23

May

Precast Concrete Construction

In the mid-nineties, I was heading a civil design department for a large EPC contractor in South East Asia.  We had received an order to build a paper plant.

The primary building in a paper plant is the paper machine building. A typical paper machine building is about 300 m long. The building typically has two floors, one at ground level, and one at about 7.5 m level. The paper machine is installed on a foundation that is not connected to the building. The machine is accessible from the machine hall

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Cracked Concrete Floor

20

April

Who cracked my concrete?

The other day I met Professor McCracken, an eminent concrete technologist and an avid concrete crack spotter! He was coming back after conducting a site inspection and had a very smug expression on his face. To my questioning looks, he said with immense pride that he had seen a variety of cracks in concrete that day. Not only did he find cracks in the freshly placed concrete on a bridge deck, he also saw a network of cracks on the pier of the old bridge adjacent to the one under

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24

January

The mystery of the missing rebar

Gem Engserv provides services of preparation of BBS, rebar shop drawings and rebar estimation. We often get some interesting and challenging assignments. The challenges include complicated structures, frequent changes in the designs, incomplete information on the drawings and extremely tight delivery schedules. All that is part of the business and we are ready to meet these challenges.

A few months ago, we were approached by a Contractor who posed a different kind of challenge. The Contractor was close to completing construction of RCC portion of a group of high rise towers.

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06

January

HOW WISE IT IS TO NEGOTIATE FEES WITH YOUR CONSULTANTS?

In the past 35 years, we, the promoters of GEM ENGSERV, have worked on the client’s side as well as engineering consultants.  We have seen many people negotiate the fees with the engineering consultants. The word consultant in this article means an engineering consultant. When we worked on the client’s side, the people negotiating the fees were colleagues, pitted against a consultant. As a consultant, we have been in the unenviable situation facing a client who was bent on bringing the fees down.

All of us, who play a role in

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Engineering Software

06

January

Is engineering software the answer to your engineering problems?

This was a few years ago.  I was in the final round of discussions before the award of a job, with the CEO of a fairly large and cash-rich organization.  That far the discussion had gone on very well and the CEO looked extremely satisfied with our company’s credentials and ability to do the job at hand.  The CEO summoned his purchase head to join us.  I was getting ready to defend the price we had quoted. At that juncture, the CEO asked me which engineering software we would use

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07

December

Frequently Asked Questions

Construction Engineers often struggle to find answers to their practical problems. Even if they have access to codes of practice, specifications and other technical literature, they do not have the time to hunt for a specific answer to their queries. To help the practicing construction professionals, we provide a handy tool to help them on a day-to-day basis. You will find answers to most FAQs on a variety of subjects such as Concrete Construction, Contracts Management etc.

1: How to choose the type of cement for any concrete/structure?
Selection of cement for

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