Structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to resolve fluid geometry and large spans in the most economical way compared to conventional technology. Steel fabrication saves time ensuring rigid quality control. Another advantage is the possibility of larger spans and to resolve the fluid geometry, complexity of design with steel as skeleton says Ar. Sandip Agarwal, Director, Practice Design Pvt Ltd
What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
There are multiple benefits of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials. Steel fabrication is done offsite in controlled factory conditions saving time and ensuring rigid quality control. As the fabrication of steel is done offsite it overlaps with the rest of the work at site, a good time advantage. The prefabricated steel is installed as soon as it arrives at site, saving precious site yard space. Another, major advantage is the possibility of larger spans and to resolve the fluid geometry, complexity of design with steel as skeleton.
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 innovatively used in construction to resolve fluid geometry and large spans in the most economical way compared to conventional technology. As a firm we work a lot with difficult geometry like; for our wrap in Esplanade Bhubaneswar or Deya in Atmosphere. Both were extremely complicated structures and for Deya the entire structure was articulated and defined by Web structures and MN Consultants fabricated on ground and lifted in the sky, literally the formation of cloud; Deya in Bengali!
What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
Today, in India fortunately availability and customization of sections/grades is not difficult. The steel producers have kept pace with various demands of creativity. The need of the hour is to train and skill our engineers and technicians in precision welding, lifting and programing skills
What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
The scale of public architecture like retail and transit structures are growing in India to cater to the huge demand in India. The complexity, spans, fluidity of new-generation buildings will need a hybrid steel and conventional engineering to resolve.
What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Steel industry needs to introduce & promote design thinking with steel amongst young architects and engineers. Design competitions, awards, knowledge series, factory visits, site visits conducted to introduce with best practices in steel will help.
Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
We were involved with two extremely complex steel structures, Deya- Atmosphere, Kolkata and Wrap in Esplanade Bhubaneswar. High precision welding and engineering in Deya ensured that deflection was as precisely predicted in design stage. The lifting of 2300 ton Deya, covered by the National Geographic Mega Structures was an awe-inspiring event for the city of Kolkata.
Steel integrates seamlessly with cladding skin and glass, creating a perfect skeleton which is lean and malleable. Steel made it possible to create Deya the way it was envisaged.
Currently we are doing a complex 1.6 million sq. ft. retail development in Kolkata using a hybrid model of steel structure and RCC to manage large spans of 26 meters and time constraints in partnership with Sterling Engineering and SPA Consultants.