Design with Steel

Steel Bespeaks Mightiness

The high tensile strength of steel helps in countering, the unwanted pressure created on the structure during earthquakes. Being a little flexible, steel does not crack as opposed to the brittle nature of concrete under such circumstances. Apart from this, structures constructed in steel are much lighter than those constructed in concrete. In steel structures, the savings in terms of time is also very crucial in steel buildings pronounces
Ar. L.A. Murthy & Ar. Amit Murao, Partners, Aashray Design Consultants.

 

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel, as a building material, has numerous advantages over its disadvantages, when compared to other conventional building materials. With, a major portion of India, falling under the high earthquake prone belt, steel is the solution to counter the effects of earthquake. The high tensile strength of steel helps in countering, the unwanted pressure created on the structure during earthquakes. Moreover, being a little flexible, steel will not crack as opposed to the brittle nature of concrete under such circumstances.

Another, great advantage of steel buildings is its fast-paced nature of construction. Almost, all the components of a steel building can be fabricated off site, in factories. Moreover, faults in the structure caused due to irregularities in building materials like sand, bricks etc. can be minimized. Moreover, the spans we can achieve in steel structures are huge as compared to RCC structures.

Not only can we design huge column-free spaces, but the overall height of the structure can also be considerably increased. This gives us huge volumes of spaces when we design using steel. Thus, steel has its advantages over the conventional materials, but the awareness amongst our future designers and clients is very important. With appropriate knowledge about steel construction, we can make India a very rapidly developing country.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Structures made in steel are considerably lighter than those constructed in concrete. This is mainly because of the elimination of concrete which is the major bulk of a structure in an RCC building. Lighter superstructure would in-turn, mean lighter design for foundation. This would reduce the overall cost of the structure. Moreover, the savings in terms of time is also very crucial in steel buildings.

Steel is also used for the construction of sky-scrappers. These high-rise buildings have a great dead load of the structure. The light weight nature of steel plays a very important role in the designing of these structures. Being extremely versatile, steel can be used to make very creative designs. With, the new trends in design, and, the taste that we are developing towards raw and rugged looks and minimalistic designs, steel can be the ultimate solution.

The metallic and rustic look of steel inherently provides us with the look many are trying to achieve in their buildings. Thus, steel is not only an economical solution in the building industry but can also be the aesthetic element which brings the redefined edge in the design.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
With the rising use of steel for construction, the supply for the same has also been matched at equal pace by the steel producers. Various steel sections, of different sizes and strengths are now available in the market. C-channels, I-sections, T-Beams, Z purlins, strut channel; we name it, and it is available to us. The imagination of an architect, or, a designer has very well been realized, because of the support from the manufacturers. And if at all there is something which is not available to us, the ease of working with steel is such that it takes no time for us to get special sections fabricated.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Steel buildings in India has seen a great surge in the recent years. A, great number of industries have come up in India in the past couple of decades, and, they have majorly been constructed in steel. The influence of industrial design has started to leave a mark on buildings of other genres as well. Various commercial buildings and interior designs are picking up components of industrial design like exposed steel columns, industrial lights, exposed electrical wirings etc. With, the taste of people developing in industrial design, those days are not far away when we would be seeing its traces in residential, institutional and commercial projects as well. In the coming days, we would see a lot of steel structures. The awareness that is being spread in the construction industry regarding the advantages and ease of steel building construction and the availability of steel in the market will see a boost in this sector.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
As architects and designers, we always look to provide our clients, the best possible solution with minimum economic implications. Being in the industry for the past 27 years, we have become well versed with the pros and cons of the use of structural steel for construction. The most important thing for us as designers, to do is to spread awareness amongst the people in general regarding steel. We need to take the lead and hold talks, conferences, and discussions to explain to our clients the virtues of a steel building.
Even, after seeing such vast developments in the field of steel buildings, some clients are still reluctant when we come up with the proposal for a multi-storied steel building, instead, of an RCC building. Not only do the people in general need to know about steel buildings but our budding designers need to understand its importance too. The future generation of architects need to know about the future of construction material. The media, like your publication house, can also play a very important role in spreading awareness about steel buildings

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
Over the years of our practice, we have done huge projects completely in steel. In 2011, we were given the opportunity to design the biggest railway wagon manufacturing unit in the country in Jabalpur by CEBBCO. Built on a site spanning 75 acres, the building was developed on a steel-centric design. With 5.6 lakh sqft of builtup area, the building used around 2000 tonnes of steel.

Designed to give the look of railway coaches parked at a platform, the building very rapidly became a landmark. Looking in the recent past, we completed a warehouse and cold storage project on 7 acres of land for the logistics giants Transport Corporation of India. The structure is a combination of PEB and RCC structure, with the warehouse and cold storage built in steel structures and the admin block and training facility built in RCC. 345 MPA I-sections have been used in the warehouse. The warehouse is built with a massive 810 tonnes of steel.

Currently, we are developing a colossal 81M by 196M fully automated warehouse for Jindal South-West (JSW) along with Think Link, the Turnkey Integrator of the project.The storage system in the warehouse is based on the concept of Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). A total of 1400 metric tonnes of steel is being used in the project. The entire structure, which has been designed in 345 grade steel, has a very sleek PEB concept.

The manufacturing unit for Sandhar Industries, Hosur, is a project which was completely designed and conceived in steel. The complete unit is built in PEB structure. Even the admin block is integrated in steel structure. The proposal for the upcoming manufacturing unit of Mundhra chemicals, which is still in its design development stage, is in complete steel structure. The mezzanine floors of the factory are being proposed in metal decking to completely eliminate the use of RCC.

While, making our contributions in the field of steel buildings, we constantly try to strive forward and make more and more people aware about the advantages of steel as a building material!

Steel Powers Adaptability

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à- vis conventional materials?
One of the major advantage with steel is that the columns can be manufactured for multiple floors tier. Correspondingly, the requirement for bolted floor to floor column junctions reduces considerably. But in conventional RCC structure we are bound with floor by floor casting. With steel structure, we can connect beams for multiple floors at the same time hence enhancing the erection speed. RCC encasing happens alongside as parallel exercise. The formwork for RCC beams gets eliminated entirely and the only formwork exercise left is for the encasing of the steel columns. The metal formwork for the column encasing can be planned for multiple repetitions.

The RCC columns sizes for 150m high Tower, can be assumed to be enormously large. The major benefit with steel column is the considerable reduction in the column sizes, achieving better efficiency in the space planning. RCC structure has a limitation of spans whether it’s a flat slab system of beam frame. But with high yield steel, the spans of more than 10m can be explored and achieved with the limited beam depths. Eventually we took the advantage of larger spans in the basements for efficient parking with lesser number of columns.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
As far as stability and deflection of steel structure is concerned, bracing plays a very important key role. After coordination with the structural consultant, we were able to achieve a unique bracing pattern which enhanced aesthetics of the Tower. We used partially exposed bracing as a facade feature as well, evident in the building elevations. Steel structure has a tendency to adapt to the design and aesthetic requirements, hence there are lots of creative ways to explore steel and the design can evolve accordingly.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
The production of a particular grade and size of steel, are not a major hurdle as the steel manufacturers are coming up with high yield steel grades. Better the grade, lighter the structure. The flanges are unbelievably thinner as compared to the conventional steel grades. Our steel industry has evolved manifolds and real estate stakeholders and developers are emerging to take advantage of the revolution.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Steel as structural system is emerging to play a very major role in reviving the real estate industry. We are presently stuck with the conventional RCC system in which the time consumption is enormous. The real estate market is getting setbacks year by year, due to delayed construction. Investors are loosing faith and this is very much evident in today’s scenario. It’s high time to adapt faster construction system, as it’s the need of the time. In commercial projects, lots of developers have switched to pre-engineered building, system but we still need to address the adaptability of the same for mass housing projects.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
The only strategy which will work in present scenario is by increasing the awareness of advantages of steel construction amongst the real estate players, developers, architects, engineers etc. Secondly, the steel manufacturer must work towards bringing down the cost involved in the fabricated steel members and rolled steel members, so as to make it more viable and adaptive.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
As an Architect Urban Designer, my ongoing journey through FESTIVAL CITY project has been a wonderful experience. Many factors have contributed towards the exclusivity of this under – construction IT Complex, spanning across 25 Acre site, on Noida Expressway. First and the foremost being the first of its kind high rise ‘ Pre Engineered Building’.

The idea behind the adoption of Steel Building Structure, was primarily to make the 150m high rise structure, lighter in weight so as to avoid excessive expenditure on the piling; and over that gaining the advantage of escalation in the pace of erection, as compared to the conventional RCC Structure. In Real Estate Sector, Time is Money, and my understanding on this has been that our Industry must adopt faster construction methods, especially Pre Engineered Building System, so as to revive the Real Estate Market.

The high yield structural steel, which has been produced for the very first time for this Tower, has given us the flexibility to explore spans within the range of 10.5m, which would not have been possible with RCC structure. The Credit for such a futuristic decision on the adoption of PEB structural system goes entirely to Mr. Satinder Singh Bhasin (Bhasin Group), whose vision will be an inspiration for the times to come.

Steel Augments Aesthetics

Steel is a preferred material for the construction of large scale structures as well as large span structures such as bridges, industrial buildings and even residential buildings because of the unique properties of steel as well as advances in the steel design as a construction material as against other conventional materials. Steel structures have very good tensile strength, and, it has a high strength to weight ratio. This helps us to achieve visually slender sections which can be a decisive factor for design aesthetics,
says, Ar. Sharada Seshadri, Co-Founder, Architecture Continuous…

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel is a preferred material for the construction of large scale structures as well as large span structures such as bridges, industrial buildings and even residential buildings because of the unique properties of steel as well as advances in the steel design as a construction material as against other conventional materials. The unique properties of steel construction system offer many advantages which have been compiled below:

Tensile Strength
Steel structures have very good tensile strength and it has a high strength to weight ratio. Steel structures have a good load carrying capacity unlike concrete structures, which have a low load carrying capacity.

Foundation
Steel structures can be made without a foundation, but this is not applicable to concrete structures as they are heavy.

Large Spans
Its ideal for Structures that require large column free spans.

Construction Time
The construction process is faster with steel structures as they are easy to erect. This contributes to faster project completion.

Versatility
They are so versatile that they can be easily assembled, disassembled and replaced. Another advantage of steel structures is that they can be constructed off-site by professional steel fabricators and then assembled on site. Steel structures can be easily fabricated, and mass produced.

Transportation
Steel structures are easy to transport as they are lightweight.

Recyclability
In today’s context of serious concerns over waste management, having a good scrap value also makes structural steel a better option than concrete which has practically no scrap value. They are easily recyclable, and this increases its life cycle quotient.

Seismic performance
In the context of an earthquake, Concrete structures tend to be brittle compared to steel and can withstand a considerable amount of external pressure. Steel structures are generally less susceptible to structural failure due to the ductile nature of steel and they’re ability to dissipate energy. However weak links like poorly designed braced/moment frames, connections, or soft story behavior with slender columns, can all compromise a steel building.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Steel structures have very good tensile strength, and, it has a high strength to weight ratio. They weigh 60 per cent lesser, than concrete making the construction light. This helps us to achieve visually slender sections which can be a decisive factor for design aesthetics. Steel structural systems allows us to explore and generate innovative designs for large span truss, cantilevered truss, Staircases, Bridges, gates etc. Since we are also involved in interior projects, we love to use steel as a primary element to design furniture such as cots, chairs, tables, and TV and crockery units etc. to generate amazing results at a reasonable cost.

Sometimes the visual drama can be accentuated in any space by appropriate design of steel pergolas and skylights which create a magical dance of light and shadow in the indoors; experience of awe and wonder can be created by large span floating structures to small scaled floating tables, beds and furniture. We believe that some of these psychological experiences are priceless.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
We, are quite happy with the current palette of steel sections that are available in the market and try to creatively incorporate them in our designs after it’s corroborated by our team of structural engineers. We work extensively with rectangular HSS for trusses and round HSS for columns. As far as furniture design is concerned, in addition to rectangular sections we also work with flats to generate interesting products.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
According to the industry experts, structural steel construction industry has not yet achieved its full potential and is expected to grow in coming years because of adaptation of newer technologies in the construction industry. It is believed, that many initiatives and reforms taken up by the central government have revived the growth in Infrastructure sector. The Make in India campaign, development of 100 Smart Cities, Mass Housing, etc. is intended to give a boost to the economic growth and mainly infrastructure development and construction industry as well.

Steel construction was associated with industrial buildings, till recently in India; with the rising economy, new buildings whether residential, commercial, retail, hospitality or IT parks are all changing in terms of construction and façade treatment and visual experience which is driving the demand for steel structures. For example, top down construction technique using steel composite structural systems have been used in fast track projects to complete high rise buildings in short time spans in IT buildings such as Intel building in Belandoor, Bangalore. Such trends have opened doors for greater and better possibilities as far as designing structures with steel is concerned.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
According to various reports, construction industry accounts for more than 66 per cent of total steel consumption and in advanced countries more than 2/3rd of the buildings are made in steel. In India, our industries pundits believe that structural steel construction industry is not growing to its optimum potential due to lack of awareness vis-à-vis conventional building materials. Sometimes the cost of construction may be another important prohibiting factor for its wide spread usage. Structural Steel construction systems offer many advantages as it is faster, environmental friendly, earthquake resistant, lesser maintenance; provide higher column free space, high resale value, green benefits, dry construction, saving of natural resources, etc.

Citing all these advantages, industry can seek some kind of policy push from the government and local bodies. Awareness workshops, responsive campaigns and online as well as print publications are various platforms that can make a considerable difference to create awareness among the construction professionals. The government initiatives along with enterprising construction professionals and other private players can help in promoting steel as construction material for speedy implementation of the projects and avoid cost overruns and project delays. Most notably, adapting new innovative methods across design, fabrication & construction will also help in long term growth.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
We have worked with steel structural trusses specifically when the design demanded large column free spans. Reunion Mall in UP commissioned by Hindalco Industries houses a mini-theatre with 13 m span. This facility has become a major attraction not only for the Hindalco employees and their families but for the nearby communities. It has a composite structural system with RCC columns and structural steel truss.

Right 0’, a Food court on Bangalore-Mysore highway is one-of-its-kind project where we could achieve column free large spans at a reasonable cost. The client brief demanded minimal yet vibrant interiors, hence an innovative design was generated and interestingly the structural truss was integrated with the interior décor. Also. North light which was a part of the structural truss brings in tremendous amount of daylight which creates an exuberating experience for the visitors. The column free large spans also helped us in the design of a unique façade which is an organic white seamless skin wall that wraps the various programmatic requirements.

We have also designed, and, integrated a steel bridge 3m wide and 5m span connecting 2 blocks when we were involved as architectural consultants for Adithya Birla Public School, Harihar. Currently, we are designing a Yoga School for Art of Living, Bangalore which is a composite construction with rammed earth walls and 65 feet span truss.

Steel Proffers Flexibility

Steel offers solution in terms of creating large, column-free interiors, thereby giving the building a sense of openness, and moreover, it is malleable, hence gives architects the freedom to explore creating unconventional shapes and textures to make the building distinct, declaims,
Architect Rakesh Kapoor, Founder, Kapoor & Associates…

 

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
These days steel is being used in almost any type of structure – be it skyscrapers or bridges or contemporary houses. It has become a predominant material in the construction industry as it provides us with the freedom to develop fresh structural solutions. The distinctive qualities of steel products (e.g. structural beams, pipes, tread plates, flat bars and heavy angles) like adaptability, beauty, cost-effectivity, durability and ductility, make it the material of choice over concrete for many architects and engineers.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Structural steel can be adjusted or changed according to requirements e.g. wall frames can be repositioned or altered easily to widen the space or create a new interior layout. This ability to adapt to changes allows for easier expansions, while extending the lifespan of the structure. Steel also offers a solution in terms of creating large, column-free interiors, thereby, giving the building a sense of openness. It’s malleable, and hence, gives architects the freedom to explore creating unconventional shapes and textures in order to make the building distinct.

In terms of cost, steel is light-weight which makes it easier to transport. As compared to concrete, steel structures are easy to erect making the construction process faster. They can be easily fabricated, and mass produced. They are versatile and can be easily assembled, disassembled and replaced and can be modified even for last minute changes. Aside from this, steel is energy efficient and can be recycled without downgrading its quality, creating minimal raw material wastes.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
Steel is slowly gaining popularity as a construction material in India. However, when we compare with the range of steel products available in the international markets, India still has a long way to go. During our ‘Punjab State War Heroes Memorial and Museum’ project in Amritsar, we required a rust proof weather resistant steel grade for the construction of a 45m high steel sword. However, the grades available in India were limited and had constraints in fabrication. As a result, we had to settle with lower grade of steel. Indian steel producers need to push the envelope to make products which will help cater the demand for unconventional structures.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Steel is lighter, faster to erect, competitively priced, sustainable and provides great flexibility for designers. With all the benefits steel affords, engineers and developers are increasingly turning to it as a practical and inexpensive solution for all their design needs. Due to the emerging era of tech and building information modeling, integrating the design and fabrication of steel will result in faster construction times and lower labour costs – two key components affecting the financial viability of a site.

Apart from this, the steel industry has already begun adopting novel steel modular frame systems for use on construction sites. Ultimately, steel is well-suited for modular construction, which will become more common as building information modeling, spurred by new technology, advances. Together, these elements strengthen the argument for the use of structural steel in meeting the design demands of the built environment – now and into the future.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Many countries have started to opt for steel structures due to its qualities. India too is seeing a rise in experimental, contemporary architecture which can only be realized by using steel construction. Another aspect is the predicted exponential rise in ‘affordable housing’ in India. In this scenario, steel could be a probable solution in terms of prefabricated structures, leading to fast and cost effective modular construction.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
Some prominent steel specific buildings that we have worked on include the Punjab State War Heroes Memorial, Amritsar, Thayagaraj Sports Complex, New Delhi, Dasrath Deb Sports Complex, Agartala, LBSNAA Sports Complex, Mussoorie and DAV University Building, Jalandhar.

The Thyagaraj Sports Complex, India’s first eco-friendly stadium, was the venue for Netball Competition and Athletics Training for the Delhi 2010 Common Wealth Games. Structural steel framing was used to obtain large, clear spaces. Apart from this, additional seating capacity, future expandability, sustainable construction, low maintenance costs, amenities, enhancements for patron comfort, security and aesthetics became reasons to choose structural steel as the material of choice. The external façade of the stadium building is frameless structural double glazing This also allows sunlight to enter inside and saves the need of artificial lighting during day time.

For easy uniform distribution of truss reaction to the RCC columns, RCC column heads were provided of size 2400×2400 (in Plan). The 25mm thick stainless-steel plates were provided over the capital, one fixed to the RCC column head and the other to the truss with proper fixing arrangements. Supports on one end of truss (on two RCC column heads) were fixed and other end (two columns) was with horizontal sliding arrangements. The complex is one of the greenest sporting arenas in the world. It has been awarded the IBC Trophy for Excellence in Built Environment, the CPWD Award for Excellence: First Prize in Sports category.

Steel A Preferred Material

Steel has been the preferred material of choice in various segments of the construction industry and has many tangible benefits over other materials. It is bendable, malleable and can be used to create a form, otherwise, challenging to be made from other materials, utters,

Ali Abbasi, Principal Architect, A Cube Architects

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel is a wonderful material for construction yet to be fully explored by architects in India. The large column free spans and innovations in building forms and speed of construction, that use of steel structures brings forth are unmatched by any other material.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Steel as a construction material has many tangible benefits over other materials. It is bendable, malleable and can be used to create a form, otherwise, challenging to be made from other materials.

Since, steel sections can be fabricated at factory and assembled on site it becomes faster and easier for achieving a very complicated massing of forms in a shorter time. Cost of construction should be seen not only in terms of material costs, but also should be evaluated in terms of time taken in completing the project and handing over the building to its users. Time taken to complete a steel building project is faster and gives us huge benefits as compared to other more conventional methods provided its planned well from the beginning.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
There are lots of interesting options currently available in the market in terms of sections and grades or if any special sections are required, they can be made available from other suppliers outside the country.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Steel has been the preferred material of choice in various segments of the construction industry namely industrial and warehouse, retail shopping malls, commercial spaces and IT parks, auditorium, and cinemas where large spans and column free spaces are required.

Highrise towers and other specialized buildings are also being designed with steel structures. Steel buildings will be the possible solution to provide mass housing to the over congested cities where urgent resettlement of the dilapidated building tenements need to be done. It might also be the way forward for building large affordable housing to people.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Steel should be promoted as a material of choice in the construction industry by educating its tangible benefits to architects, developers, and engineers. Seminars and workshops should bring together people from the industry to interact and resolve issues that might hinder the use of steel construction.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
Reception Block – A building block at the entrance with a grand reception area, fine dine restaurant and a semi open-semi covered banquet area which would serve as a welcoming point for guests and would act as a focal gathering point for the resort with themed villas.

Also, an area dedicated to the back of the house and ancillary service areas required for functioning of the resort were added but taking care of not to hamper the circulation or ambience of key areas of the luxury spaced reception block.

Steel Propels Creativity

Steel breaks many foregone conclusions when it comes to aesthetics. It tops the list because of its high strength to weight ratio with lesser weight when compared to many other materials. It opens out of box thinking, where integration and manipulation of spaces happens to create an amalgamation of an eccentric spatial experience, says. Ar. Murali Murugan, Chief Architect, Murali Architects

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Out of the profuse advantages of steel in relation to the conventional materials, there are some firm reasons why they stand out. While going beyond the boundaries of conventional thinking, steel comes as it can stretch the clear span to maximum extent also it is versatile and flexible with the shapes of the design; especially while going fluid geometry where experimentation of spaces happens and new experiences emerge.

It can also play the role of the skeleton as well as the skin of the structure. Technically, steel tops the list because of its high strength to weight ratio with lesser weight when compared to many other materials. While speaking about the project time, the process happens quickly, as they are prefabricated off-site and can be assembled on-site rapidly.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer an economical solution?
Steel as a structural element can break many foregone conclusions when it comes to aesthetics. This is the material where play of forms, irrespective of its size happens. It opens out of box thinking, where integration and manipulation of spaces happens to create an amalgamation of an eccentric spatial experience.

As a result, it creates a visual amazement and admiration. Steel can be firm and rigid as well as fluid which simply flows through. Steel are the only go to have structures with a floating feel, like long cantilevers and long-span clear roofing system. Economically, it is quick in construction as the on-site work is only assembling. It requires less maintenance with good scrap value and can also be recycled.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
Today, a wide variety of steel sections and grades are available which can be innovatively used for structural as well as aesthetical purposes. Where innovation and creativity need to be exhibited, steel plays a major role. We use sections for some residential projects for structural support where the construction needs to be completed quickly and steel sheets are used for creative play of patterns which creates a new aesthetical identity to the structure.

What trend are we going to witness in the next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Diversified and innovative steel structures were constructed in the past, such as Akashi – Kaikyo Bridge which is the world’s longest suspension bridge. Due to the development of the high-performance steel, there happened development and progress in the steel structures as well.

Because of this advancement, innovations in steel are fairly high and low strength steels, high bridge performance steel, seismic-resistant steel, fire-resistant steel, corrosion-resistant steel, and size flexible beams are made which enables and pushes the boundaries in creating exceptional structures in steel materials. All these years because of the usage of conventional materials the space perception has narrowed down. But now the innovation in steel has widened our space perception to a new dimension where form flows through the space which was not much explored before.

Moving towards the future where experimentation of today takes its form, the monotony of the present society breaks and spaces takes new forms, and steel being a versatile material, address all the above.

What should be the strategy of the industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Collaboration of steel industry with architects in creating and placing futuristic steel structures for people to use, see and admire in public spaces helps in acknowledging the public with the effectiveness of steel. It brings them the comfortability in using them and makes them aware of its practicality. Expo and Conferences for the commoners help in taking steel to them so that the establishment happens at all levels.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
We are currently working on a holiday home project at Yercaud where a structural steel system is used. The total system has been pre-planned and the steel frames are fabricated at workshop and assembled at site which saved a lot of time in the construction process. The Framing works are fabricated considering the Wind loads.

The flexibility enabled in achieving clear wide spans. Trees in the site can flow through the building, out of the flexibility in the structural system. Metal decks are designed to protrude in the air, hanging out from the main system. The steel system is also being used in one of our other commercial projects where patterns are articulated in the façade. This façade system also flows sharply into the external space from the system. Overall it creates modular planes of various axes bringing out a futuristic design palette.

Steel Affirms Timely Construction

Steel constructions seems to be a sustainable solution in construction industry and has witnessed that steel construction has an edge over other construction systems. It provides the possibility of moving forms to another location based on the need and has ability to be designed and shaped for large span design says,
Ar. Ramkirana Bhat, Associate Director
Urban Frame (Space Matrix Group)

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Speed of market is the mantra in today’s time of high growth. The competitive market scenario is presenting new innovations in the field of design & construction with each passing day. One thing that has sustained has been the use of steel in construction. It is witnessed that steel construction has an edge over other construction systems.

Another, clear advantage is the ability to deal with complex structures both in terms of spans and more importantly in creating dynamic forms. Steel construction provides the possibility of moving forms to another location based on the need. The flexibility to make them adaptable to an existing built form makes it the best suited option to explore and exploit. Metal has a beautiful ability to be designed and shaped for large span design. This can be done without any hinderances, thus, making it an obvious choice for construction.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Prefabrication ensures that the designed steel structure can be segmented elsewhere and assembled at site. This not only provides flexibility for completing multiple tasks simultaneously at site, but also ensures timely completion of the design. Time being an essential factor in construction, steel structures alleviate delays. The Time factor and the flexible reuse of steel contributes in yielding economical solutions. When we look around us, most of the complex designs are solved with the use of metal, bridges, hangers, towers and industries, creating not only an efficient and but also an elegant sense of space.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
In our experience most of the commonly used grades are available in India, but the industry will need to closely watch the changing demand scenario. This improves our engagement with the market, challenging our outlook for seeking experts to design steel structures. A wonderful opportunity to collaborate, contribute and design more complex structures and bridging this gap between creative demands with newer solutions is essential.

A gamut of options is available to create, explore and shape better projects through newer solutions. Technology also elevates better chances to provide apt solutions, through simulations. This, therefore, not only creates platform to bring in better construction methods and technologies into play but also adds another layer of designing and creating better structures adding on to the quality of the spaces we reside in. Project assessment through augmented models helps in fabrication of steel structures creating wormhole from beginning to the end of the construction.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Upskilling both qualitatively & numerically in design & execution will have an uptick & technology will play a key role. With growing high-density urbanization & corresponding verticalization of cities, a big shift towards steel construction is high. Also, steel constructions seem to be a more sustainable solution in construction industry. Drifting towards high rise in urban areas, steel will be an important material which will see its light of day soon.

This provides faster construction rate and better building efficiency. Adept use of technology in synergy with innovative solutions is transforming the construction industry. Demand for project timeline have been steep and the best solutions to abridge the timelines is through the usage of prefabrication techniques. There will soon be a hiatus in other material usage for flexible design solutions to meet adequate requirements. A direction towards sustainability will strongly drive more use of green materials soon.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Smart city missions are paving new cycle of development across the country encouraging an active participation by the Industry which is an opportunity that can’t be missed. Collaboration with design schools & international experts towards knowledge sharing & exploration can be a continual process which will have a long-term impact.

Dense urban developments will soon demand faster and large-scale projects in various pockets of the city, across the country. A continual learning in adapting steel design is necessary to set newer methods to current solutions. Precedents from many countries and cities abroad can set benchmarks for shaping our cities better. Adaptive usage of this flexible material ensures better standards of construction.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
Roofing for tennis courts at Padukone Dravid centre for sports excellence –
The idea of springing from ground to move higher was taken as a metaphoric representation of rising in sports. This was thus captured with a dynamic form. A fluid movement and connection were emphasized to achieve this idea. Large span activates witnessed in this project promoted the idea to explore steel structures.

Sporting facilities are best suited for unhindered spaces, for both the indoor and outdoor sports. Biophilia being a strong concept, that urban frame promotes, a symbiotic relationship between nature and design was therefore achieved. Mimicking the shapes of nature, the canopy over the five tennis courts both resonates as well as transforms itself a part of the flora and fauna surrounding it. The strong connect with nature, yet serving its function is what makes people more invested and focused on the activities it manifests in this space.

Steel Transforms Aesthetic Vision

Structural steel is now being used extensively in construction projects the various technology associated with its production, fabrications, customization and installation require a giant leap in technology. Steel gives us the ability to have a clean and minimalistic detailing which adds to the architect’s aesthetics of our project. 
In the coming years, we foresee a huge jump in steel technology which in turn would enable design architects like us to explore new age and futuristic architecture, says,
Ar. Pathik Joshi, Kalayojan, urban designers & architects…

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
In any project construction timelines are very critical and speeding up the construction saves a lot of time which in turn saves money. Also, due to the higher structural durability steel demands sleeker sections than compared to concrete.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Architects whose design and vision for project demand large cantilevered and/or column free/long span spaces requires the use of structural steel, to economize on cost and construction time.

Steel gives us the ability to have clean and minimalistic detailing which adds to the architectural aesthetics of our projects. In one of our ongoing projects of International Christian Worship Centre we are able to achieve a canopy cantilevering 48metres without support only because of structural steel.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
Various sections/ grades are available in the market and, they
can be customized to a great extent. Though, industry experts like
fabricators are better positioned to answer this question.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Though structural steel is now being used extensively in construction projects the various technology associated with its production, fabrications, customization and installation require a giant leap in technology. In the coming years, we foresee a huge jump in steel technology which in turn would enable a design architects like us to explore new age architecture.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
After having successfully designed one of India’s only extreme adventure sports facility – Bungy Jumping, Flying Fox and Giant Swing facility at Rishikesh (Ranked as no.1 tourist place of visit by Trip Advisor), for Jumpin Heights adventures Pvt Ltd. Kalayojan got opportunity to design yet another extreme adventure facility for the same client (in JV with goa tourism development corporation) at India’s foremost tourist destination, Goa.

Overlooking a lake, the location itself is impressive, untouched and nestled among the Goan hill ranges. The challenge was to construct a premier and one of its kind Bungy facility for Goa that paved a way for extreme adventure sports here. We wanted to build a structure that was at once landmark and unquestionably safe for people. Considering the geographical aspects and topography of the region, the safety aspects of a project of this scale and with a view of conserving the environment around us, several technical aspects were studied and suitably employed. The result is a landmark steel structure along the banks of Goa’s most famous Mayem lake. A bungy tower constructed on a footprint of only 6m x 6m with its height towering to 58m – that is close to a 16 storied building! This is also a remarkable achievement from an architectural point of view, paving way for modern, eco-sensitive infrastructure that puts paramount importance on the environment. The Goa Tourism Dept envisioned a new identity to boost tourism at this lake making it an epicentre of adventure, thrill and rejuvenation. An exciting natural track of 2m width help link the tower and another ancillary facilities. The entire development was done keeping entire existing flora and fauna intact. This elevates the Mayem Lake region as the perfect tourist destination for adventure and nature lovers visiting Goa.

Photo credit – Prathamesh

Steel – Ensures Sustainability

Steel can be recycled, making it one of the most sustainable materials in the building industry. Hence, steel has a high economic value at all stages of its life cycle and can be routinely recovered and reused. As Steel Offers Immense Design Freedom, in texture, shape & size, usability, ease & time of construction. Its versatile combination of durability, strength, precision, malleability and sustainability gives architects the pedestal to explore ideas and develop innovative, flexible & economical solutions, states Ar. Aditya Goswami, Principal Architect, Architectonic Services…

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel has aesthetic appeal as the sections are smaller and sleeker, unlike other building materials. The Speed of Construction – Steel sections can be produced off-site at shop floors and then assembled onsite. The flexibility it offers is such that it can be molded into any desired shape. Structural steel is sustainable as it is one of the most recycled materials on Earth.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
STEEL OFFERS IMMENSE DESIGN FREEDOM in texture, shape & size, usability, ease & time of construction. Its versatile combination of durability, strength, precision, malleability and sustainability gives architects the pedestal to explore ideas and develop innovative, flexible & economical solutions.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
Currently a vast variety of sections & grades are available, which help designers to pick and choose as per their requirements. It offers them freedom and encourages innovation.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Steel will form an essential ingredient in many developments which come to epitomize a sustainable future as Steel is essential for our infrastructure. Lightweight steel construction provides low energy, thermally responsive buildings which are more efficient to construct and easier to maintain with low running costs.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Steel can be recycled, making it one of the most sustainable materials in the building industry. Hence, steel has a high economic value at all stages of its life cycle and can be routinely recovered and reused. In today’s growing concern of depletion of natural resources and global warming, all are on the lookout for materials that will reduce footprint on Mother Earth yet meet all the demands of a growing population. Hence, in order to promote structural steel construction in India, one must emphasize on ‘Substantiality’.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
HALDIRAM’S THE NEST, KOLKATA INDIA – A confectionary major, dealing with Indian traditional food, with aspirations to roll out a signature retail chain, wished to have a symbolic cocoon.

As far as architectural aphorisms are concerned, the well-known phrase, “Less is more” seems to perfectly describe a modernist ethic. The elemental objective of the proposal was to design a sleek and elegant structure that turns heads amidst the monotonous concrete jungle of the surroundings, which would be possible exclusively by allowing a visual connectivity of the interior and exterior. In order to satisfy this objective as well, glass and steel were the only two materials that would do justice to such a vision. The structure was thereby proposed such that the boundaries seem to disappear, highlighting the glass-box cocooned-by-steel, with a vision of a permeable structure. The combination of the two materials, glass and steel, lends unparallel lightness and strength to the structure. The unique characteristic feature of steel encourages adventurous architecture and explores geometry through minimalism. Steel frames reduce the material expression to the indispensable and is best known for its clarity and accuracy. The combination of the steel members exhibits the structure as a wholesome unit holding the glass box cocooned within. Set in a street corner, the building is thus enveloped by a kind of veil which reveals and at the same time transforms the perception of what lies behind it.

Steel Pecuniary Material

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel has high tensile strength, so even if the span is longer, the beam sections are smaller comparatively. Steel can be mass produced and fabricated before site is ready for construction so in turn saves a lot of time. The major advantages of steel construction would be time, ductility and span of buildings which can be achieved only with steel construction technology.

Steel is highly durable and can withstand lateral loads better than conventional materials, during earthquakes or thunderstorm steel buildings are safer. As architects steel allows us to create adaptable spaces. Steel Buildings are economical than conventional, and they have resale value as they could be recycled.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Architects prefer to expose steel structures which add character to the building, makes it light. It clearly defines the program of the building. With steel coating and galvanizing, a lot of visual effects can be achieved in various sections.

Steel can be customized to any form and nonlinear elements, which makes it highly versatile to be used by architects and structural engineer for complex forms. We have been using exposed structural steel elements in our designs which adds detail to the façade, they are often complemented with artificial light to embrace their character.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
When we compare to US steel construction industry to our Indian producers, we have less range and quality, we only have standard sections in the market, when the form of the building is a bit complex. It usually becomes a time taking process to fabricate and transport and the standard sections available are of different quality, the economical variant is highly susceptible to fire and very fragile to cracks.

We are on the upward side, evolving with different grades and sections to suit the demand of the dynamic construction industry.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
The government, industry and institutions have already started to spread awareness. Already, in 2020 there are many projects like hospitals, residences, hostel, hotels proposed in steel. This itself is evident to see a paradigm shift from conventional design to steel construction. Manpower shortage and accuracy is a major concern the conventional construction has, steel construction would address those issues.

By incorporating technology, steel fabrication, cuts down wastage and cost. A lot of clients request green building construction, by the paradigm shift towards steel construction, we would be saving a lot of carbon emissions, and many PEB fabricators should focus on producing high performative steel elements like skylights. High level precision achieved through steel construction is one of the most valuable outcomes of steel constructions which helps in steering the growth in the next five years.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Fabricators should focus on manufacturing with less carbon emissions making it eco-friendly and taking care of the environment. Industries should focus on making it more fire resistant, making it more economical.

Availability of different grades and variants for end clients Focus on delivering on time to complete the project on schedule which most of the PEB fabricators never meet. Promoting steel buildings to developers and spreading awareness among common people about its benefits and conducting conference, exhibitions and competitions would be helpful.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
In this Bionica hospital design, at Kolkata we have tried to promote the use of steel in buildings and spread awareness among architects and designers. We have extensively designed the entire building with steel including the façade which is made of steel plates and exposed the structural system to the exterior. In the hospital, we have tried to achieve floor spaces without column or beam by inversing the load from the floor plates to the roof and then transferred to the central core. high tension cables used to hold

The façade made from steel plates are coated with Titanium dioxide which will in-turn absorb the pollution the facades allow in diffused sunlight and direct the wind to ventilate the inner courtyards. Using steel as main construction helps in predicting the cost and timeline of the project accurately. All the hospital rooms open out to the Courtyards at each floor level which have huge green natural vegetation. This steel structure creates a unique landmark to the whole city.

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