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Exposing Steel Is Highly Exciting

AHMED SHAIKH, Principal, Ahmed and Associates…

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

Steel provides flexible architectural style and much larger space design, wherein indoor space can plan more segmentation, meet the different needs of users by reducing the cross-section of the column area, and the use of lightweight wallboard, increase the area of utilization, effectively use area by about 3-6 per cent. Also, using steel energy saving effect is good, standardized prefabricated panel wall use light energy to replace clay bricks, providing good insulation performance, and saving energy up to 65 per cent. Light weight steel structure in residential system use lightweight materials, compose high-strength fire waterproof insulation sound insulation, allows energy-saving composite wall to replace the traditional clay brick and other heavy masonry materials. Using light steel structure, we can reduce 50-75 per cent drop in overall weight of the building.

The construction speed quickens in the light steel structure building system. They don’t need the tie bar, do not need to make a template, cast-in-site concrete floor, do not need temporary support. We can greatly speed up the construction site of the assembled. Therefore, the construction cycle of light steel structure system can shorten 50-75 per cent of the traditional structure mode.

With the use of steel, environmental protection effects are better. Steel structure in residential construction has greatly reduced the amount of lime, sand and stone; and the material is mainly used in the green recycling or degradation. During the building demolition, most of the material can regenerate, which ultimately won’t produce anything rubbish.

Its cost performance is high due to the interaction and complementary advantages of ladle concrete, the beam cross section could shrink by more than 50 per cent. Therefore, light steel structure house uses steel that is decreased by about 15 per cent than that of concrete structures. Also, using steel concrete is reduced by 50 per cent, manpower costs by 75 per cent, freight rates by 75 per cent, and the foundation cost is reduced by 20-30 per cent.

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

Structural steel allows the architect a great degree of expression and creativity. It addresses both, the functional demand of the building and a unique identity of the client. I praise the natural beauty of steel and it is exciting in exposing it in the design of the structure to emphasize grace, slenderness, strength and transparency of frame. Along with its natural beauty, it is a very economical material. It cuts down the construction cost significantly along with providing great strength and efficiency to the project.

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

It is observed that high grade steel is not available off the shelf and at all locations, as well as there is order variation. There is a need to work upon the consistent availability material in India.

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

Designing with steel is going to be a very important and integral part of our construction industry in the forthcoming years. It has various advantages over other conventional materials. It is not only limited to industrial buildings and temporary shelters. Steel has established itself as one of the most versatile construction material already. It has become a popular choice due to its durability, strength and resilience. Steel is also an environmentally friendly product in many aspects. Materials like concrete and wood cannot be reused, steel can be recycled and is more cost-effective. Steel is definitely the future of quick and rapid construction.

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

The industry should work upon reaching out to various architects and designers of all generation regarding the numerous advantages of steel construction which would help in the increase of structural steel construction.

QWhich are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?

We have executed a very well-known jewelers’ kiosk at Prabhadevi, Mumbai. The reason for executing the structure in steel was – because the building was quite old and the client had demanded the construction to be quick. Along with its quickness, we also had to keep in mind the strength and durability of the structure. The first material that came into my mind was steel. It quickened the construction period as well as satisfactorily check listed all the requirements of the clients, and along with it, provided the aesthetic beauty that we were looking for. We are definitely going to execute more steel specific structures in the near future too.

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