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Zenith Factory-cum-office Building, Mumbai

Zenith Industrial Rubber Products Pvt. Ltd., based in Dombivali MIDC, Thane, manufacture variety of rubber products which are used in industrial and other areas. Along with main manufacturing set up, the company wanted to have one more sister manufacturing unit on their own separate plot having area of 6900 sq. ft. in MIDC Dombivali. This new plant is designed for ground + two floors with partly basement area.

This multileveled manufacturing building is designed in such a way that in first stage raw material comes to factory and directly moves to third topmost level, and then process starts from top to bottom in various levels through machines placed one below other, and finally, finished product comes out at ground level; then it is taken out for further dispatch.

Design Notion
The industrial manufacturing unit consists of heavy steel columns with a depth of 800mm-900mm HEB sections spanning a height upto 15m upto terrace level and the roof columns have a height of almost 21m with a fabricated tapered roof truss at the top. The structural building consists of a part basement with two floors of manufacturing and storage activities and a terrace floor. The building also has additional 3 mezzanine floors each at different levels to suit the clients need for manufacturing activities.

Delcons were approached as structural engineers, to discuss whether the proposed project can be completed within a very short period of time without having to manufacture any ingredients on site. The client was considering a pre – cast structure but was looking at other alternatives.

Steel structures have lots of advantages in terms of quality of material, consistent strength in both tension and compression, no manufacturing time on site unlike concrete by storing and mixing materials. If the connections and sizes are standardized along with the spans then fabrication time is also reduced. No deshuttering or curing time is required and any shapes and designs cab be generated. This building was completed in less than a year.”
BAL KULKARNI, Chairman, Delcons Consultants India Pvt. Ltd.

Structural Features
The building was to be 4 to 5 floor structures with various levels and plan areas to be used for different purposes with varing loading patterns. The client wanted to have, a made to order building with various levels and various areas designed for particular applications and loading. These loads were not in any particular order but were varying as per the work flow and activities. For example, some areas needed some machines to be mounted and immediately adjacent areas to be designed for the computer input for operating such machines.

The factory-cum-office building was delivered with varying loading conditions and also large column free spaces. To save time and quality control most of the materials were bought out from standard materials available. This saved a lot of time and on-site activities of scaffolding and mixing and curing and deshuttering. The metal deck sheet slab ensured that no time was spent in shuttering and deshuttering and also offered a uniform hard floor for all the activities proposed in the factory.

Also, it facilitated piece meal construction as two bays from one floor level were completed and next another area of another floor was completed. So, the sequence of events was not related to completion of the lower or adjacent levels. The areas on which the machines were to be erected were completed before. So that the commissioning activities could jump start and that helped in reducing the completion time of the project. The primary framing was in MS wide flange beams and columns with a 9.0 m grid in both directions. The secondary grid was modified to suit the requirements of the usage of the particular floor.

Structural Uniqueness
The company has various plants at various locations and needed to upgrade the existing building to suit the new manufacturing standards. The owner was worried that rebuilding his factory would take at least two years for the conventional system and was worried that a good team has to be put in place to ensure quality as most of the areas were heavily loaded. Also, the machine installation could start only after finishing of many activities in the adjacent or lower floors which made the required time span unreasonable.

With the use of steel wide flange sections all doubts about quality and strength were ruled out. Also, parts of the building could be completed and handed over to the machine erectors so that the final completion time was not extended. Large spans were possible in reduced depth which helped in reducing the overall height of the building.


As per requirement and demand of project for large spans for manoeuvrability of material, and at the same time, requirement of floor loads of 3-tonne per sq. m. with maximum height restriction of floor-to-floor height of 5.0m as per rules, we opted for designing this building completely in steel members above ground. Because of availability of various heavy steel beams and sections of different manufacturers, it was great advantage in the designing, wherein using these steel sections, we could achieve the load carrying capacities with minimum depths of floor beams, minimum column sizes and other members, and because of this, we could get maximum clear floor heights. Further, steel decking sheeting and concrete floor above the floor beam grid; provided us faster construction without any scaffolding and centering material.
Director, A. J. Architects & Interior Designers Pvt. Ltd.

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