Principal Architect, Prashant Deshmukh and Associates…
What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel has many advantages over conventional materials. It offers flexibility to the designer for taking desired forms and spans. The pre-engineered technology offers quick solution to any design problems, and simulation of the behavior of the building can also be studied to take care of various forces and deflections to and of the structure. The dimensional benefit is to an advantage of savings on space offering more utility space.
It is an effective material to withstand seismic conditions with a proper frame design, not really bulging in size and shapes as other conventional materials to withstand seismic conditions. The pre-engineered technique offers easy technique to dismantle and reuse the building at a new location. The joints and junctions can easily be designed and fabricated, either, in the workshop or at site at ease, and can be designed for a reverse.
How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
The structural steel technology is now advanced enough to take challenges of architectural requirements in terms of aesthetics, longer spans, greater heights and can be molded in any shape and size with structural elements suiting to the requirements and design to suit sections that can be evolved out of steel plates offering economy. Aesthetic elements such as windows, curtain walls and structural glazing can easily be synchronized with basic structural work without much special provisions as in other conventional systems, thus, offering economy.
What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
The steel industry has transformed from ready sections like I, L, T etc. to built-up sections which are being fabricated as per design requirements from high tensile strength steel plates. Thus, offering effective solutions to the creative design leading to economy as well. The producers are manufacturing steel particularly for the building industry of the grades that are specified by the codes for pre-engineered or similar type of buildings. This is giving a great advantage to the designers in venturing for larger cantilevers, larger spans, larger shapes and the frames are becoming more and more beautiful than in the past, as is observed through structural space frames.
What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
The trend of tomorrow will be more of pre-engineered and pre-fab structures that shall save money and time, involving optimum labour and offering more life. Detailing of external facades or skins will become an integrated part of the structural grids and frames themselves, making it totally monolithic and more stable. Technology could be evolved to withstand seismic challenges through esthetical elements avoiding further cosmetic treatment.
What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
I strongly believe that more and more metals would lead the building industry and more and more techniques of pre-engineering and pre-fab will surface structural steel construction in India in a big way. Along with industrial sector, structural steel technology will be employed in public buildings, commercial buildings, and probably, in residential sector for ease of construction, economy and speed.
Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
M/s Ecorea & Kuroda Electric India Pvt. Ltd. is a globally acclaimed Korean and Japanese joint venture based MNC in Pune. M/s EKI is vendor company for the LG group of company in manufacturing world-class injection molding plastic components for their parent company. It intended to set up an industrial complex at MIDC Ranjangaon area district. in Pune in a plot area of 4,00,000 sq. ft. with an initiative to develop infrastructure of 2,80,000 sq. ft.
The plot comprised of two types of land – table land and contour land with valley 10 to 12m depth. Company premises consists of a three-storey office building totally constructed in pre-engineered steel building at front. The main production plant building was designed and constructed on the table land as it required heavy machines and underground utility pipe lines and the warehouse complex was constructed on contour land. This industrial complex has been awarded as AESA BEHERAY RATHI AWARD 2013 for Best Industrial Structure.