Steel is Highly Adaptable

Pramod Jain,
CEO, Creative Architects & Interiors

QWhat are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?

When compared to conventional building materials, steel is a very adaptable material. The designing with steel could bring out more modern expressions to the buildings. It is being compatible material, gives liberty to the designer. Lighter weight of steel, assist to optimize the column space. The column in steel construction will be designed with wider space, than in conventional buildings. So, number of columns will be less, and thus, it brings down the cost of buildings. Steel buildings are becoming prominent in this era, but, steel as a material is being formulated before centuries. It has much more advantages like clean lines in structure.

Perfection in attaining clean lines is instant and lower the work time. Steel buildings are with fine quality for the reason that it is rigid and slender. For the same reason it gains the attention of client and the designer. Through painting, the steel structure can be projected outside as per designer’s options. This gives aesthetic appeal and also economically transformed. No other materials could gift with such flexibility, for the design itself. Steel can be reused, relocated or recycled once its use has been overtaken by events. Its use is, therefore, responsible in environmental terms. As far as the present scenario is concerned, the availability of the material also makes things feasible to work out.

QHow structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?

Steel with its unique nature helps in attaining innovation to the level of what architect dreams at. Architects praise the natural beauty of steel and are excited about exposing it in the design of their structures to emphasize grace, slenderness, strength and transparency of frame. Structural steel allows the project architect a greater degree of expression and creativity in their design than any other construction material as they satisfy both, the functional demands of the building and unique identity of their client. Tools for structural steel design abound and are steps ahead of tools for other systems.

Full integration between analysis, design, detailing and fabricating software is in use today. The structural steel industry is the poster child for collaborative Building Information Modeling.

This innovative blending of technology is not just for simple boxes, but also for complex structures requiring innovative design approaches and the cost saving techniques of 3-D modeling with full steel specialty contractor involvement in the design process. It reduces cost by reducing time of construction of such innovative building and also by reducing number of columns. This has advantage of using the excess material available and also by the cost reduction.

QWhat is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?

There are variety of sections available today, and the most notable ones are I type, C channels, H type, Box Sections, ISA angles having variety of grades such as Fe 250, Fe 345, Fe 355. In buildings and halls, hollow sections are commonly used for columns, beams, braces and lattice girders or space frames for roofs. Lattice girder trusses are mainly used in industrial building and stiffeners and gusset plates in truss connections.

In the bridges segment, components of bridges are generally made of hollow sections. In offshore structures, due to their lesser susceptibility to corrosion because of their rounded corners and easy maintenance in severe environments, the hollow sections are widely used in offshore structures. Considering architectural appearances, hollow sections are a preferred option for towers and masts. Also in some special applications, like agricultural field, glass houses etc. steel is considered to be the go-to option.

QWhat trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?

Green building and housing industry is an important issue of energy conservation, where steel is one of the right of way. Since the construction industry is moving towards green construction and the awareness of sustainable materials is increasing, steel by itself is matching the green standards. And the number of steel building construction will also be increased in coming times. Compared to traditional concrete structures, steel structures have light weight, good anti-seismic ability, short construction period, energy saving and environmental protection and many other advantages.

It is also one of the most recycled materials, with minimum default value, and it can be recycled over and over again. Steel helps to build adaptable building to any level complex building. Since is it recyclable, it helps for construction under green building norms as well. The interest of unique design is being increased all together. Steel can be utilized for unique structure formation, in any complex buildings. The innovation can be in attaining even more complex structures with steel frame. Lighter structures with greater strength, makes better construction all under the norms of green building.

QWhat should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?

The structural steel construction in India could be promoted by increasing the awareness about steel building and in built advantages in it. This includes the environmental friendly nature of steel building construction. The vendor availability is even more important for such a construction. That is to engage vendors for such building construction in more numbers and higher level of work. Their experience should be raised to complex steel building construction. Then, the number of eco-friendly steel buildings will be lined up. Here, the need for structural design with expertise in steel building construction is also equally important. Fast and easy renovation with steel structure, can also be adopted for such developing requirements. The office spaces with unique designs and better spacing can be framed by looking into structural steel construction.

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