Raksha Shakti University (RSU) represents a pioneering initiative in India that was established to offer specialised courses in police science and internal security. RSU aims to enhance capacity-building using advanced technology to address internal security challenges, terrorism, organised crime, cybercrime, economic offences, and juvenile delinquency.

The RSU Campus is a multi-storey institutional building featuring composite construction GRP Panels and structural steel to meet the aesthetic view. The facility includes classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, entrance passages, and restrooms, with an overall height of 17 m. The entire project, encompassing engineering, aesthetics, fabrication and installation, was completed in 10-11 months.

Design & Considerations
Structural design compliance:
The project entailed the construction of a multi-floor mezzanine structure, where a composite floor system was employed to enhance both structural integrity and construction efficiency, within a total structure height of 17 m. Situated in Zone III, meticulous structural design was necessary to ensure resilience against potential seismic activities.

All work has been completed in accordance with Indian standards, while also adhering to the specifications outlined in AISC 360-16 for the design of the steel composite structure.

The primary goal was to meet the project timeline. Hence, a hybrid approach using both steel and bracing systems is used for the structure framing and RCC pedestal and foundation and structure composite slab. The use of RCC for multiple floors significantly extends the construction timeline compared to a steel composite structure. Additionally, the aesthetic appeal and architectural flexibility offered by steel composite structures were key factors in their selection.

The response reduction factor, which varies depending on the type of lateral load-resisting system, is considered to be 4.5 for buildings equipped with a special braced frame system featuring concentric braces. Importance factor-I shall be considered as 1.5.

The academic block structure utilised a variety of steel sections including UC 305 x 305 x 97, UC 305 x 305 x 158, UC 305 x 305 x 198, UB 305 x 165 x 40, UB 457 x 191 x 98 for columns and beams and Tata Structura’s SHCF 220 x 220 x 8, SHCF 180 x 180 x 8, SHCF 150 x 150 x 8 for braces, providing optimal strength and adaptability.

Façade engineering:
The façade design was achieved through the integration of Tata Structura tubes, ISMC angles and other structural sections. The facade is connected to both the wall and structure, ensuring flexibility to prevent damage. Architecturally, Tata Structura tubes offered an optimal solution for incorporating Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) panels due to their smooth curves and high load-bearing capacity.

Lateral stability:
To ensure lateral stability against wind and seismic forces, two primary solutions were considered: shear walls and Tata Structura tube sections. Tata Structura tube sections were selected for bracing due to their superior strength and efficiency in load distribution. These sections provided enhanced structural stability, facilitating rapid construction, extended spans, uniform strength distribution, and an aesthetically pleasing design.

Deck slab:
The stepped profile of a deck slab offers both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits in construction. Additionally, this profile allows for a reduction in concrete usage without compromising structural integrity, leading to cost savings and promoting sustainability. The deck slab system combines design innovation with efficiency, making it a desirable option for modern construction projects.

The structure has a 2-hour fire rating and utilises two types of fire-resistant paints: vermiculite paint for horizontal members and intumescent paint for vertical members. The application of paint on horizontal members results in a rough surface texture, while on vertical members, the surface remains smooth.

Aesthetic and internal cladding:
The interior design features dry wall cladding, enhancing the building’s aesthetic appeal and functional performance. The structural system utilised two section sizes, RHS 240 x 120 x 5 and SHS 220 x 8, tailored to meet façade and bracing requirements.

Fabrication & Installation
The main aim was to deliver the project within the given timeline while achieving the desired aesthetic appeal of the building. For the façade, we considered two options: welding two ISMC angles to form a box pipe, which was time-consuming, or using Tata Structura tubes. Tata Structura tubes were chosen for their superior strength, durability, and smooth, curved surfaces.

The installation posed challenges, as this was a brownfield project with a multi-storey mezzanine structure and multiple levels that needed precise alignment. The combination of Tata Structura tubes and ISMC angles played a crucial role in the façade installation, ensuring faster construction.

Fact File:
Project Owner: Rashtriya Raksha Shakti University
Architecture: Vastu Shilpa Consultants
Consultant: Ducon Consultants
Steel Construction: Shree Prefab Steels Pvt Ltd
Tata Structura Quantity: 25 MT
Tata Structura Serviced By: Devam Enterprise

Composite structures offer exciting opportunities for advancing construction design and performance. By combining diverse materials’ strengths, they enable ambitious architectural goals while ensuring structural integrity and efficiency. As our understanding and connection methods improve, composite structures are set to shape the future of the built environment. Interested parties are encouraged to explore composite construction’s potential, supported by our successful track record in project completion covering various aspects within our scope including connection design, fabrication, fire resistance, aesthetics and installation.
Utsav Shah, Director, Ducon Consultants and Ketan Shah, CMD, Shree Prefab Steels