BIG INTERVIEW

Enunciating an Engineering Marvel

Dhirubhai Ambani International Convention and Exhibition Centre, is India’s largest well-equipped Modern Convention Centre with state of the art infrastructure. It is a first of its kind in Asia drawing inspiration from best in class hospitality and exhibition centers from the World. DAICEC is a multi-use development project located within the heart of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), a commercial complex in the suburbs of Mumbai.

We have with us the man behind the success of DAICEC, sharing insights about the same,

Girish Dravid, Director,
Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd….

Read on to know more….

Can you tell us something about the project in terms of its magnitude?
Yes, first of all I would acknowledge the vision of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) for planning such a Big & International level convention center in Mumbai and then comes Reliance Industries, the clients, who appointed us for taking up this challenge to design such a very large & complex project and then all other stake holders, architects, consultants and contractors who did a fantastic job.

As far as its scale is concerned, it is an 8 million sq. ft construction area in one single building. One can imagine this convention centre where we are sitting now is 1.3 million sq. ft, whereas 8 million sq. ft is so many times of this space that we are talking of, and the challenge here was of course the time period within which we had to complete the project. We were given only 5 years from design inception to the completion and that challenge was taken by Reliance and we were all involved in it.

What was your overall role in the project?
My company is purely into structural design services. There must be more than 40- 45 consultants involved in this project & more than 100 vendors and contractors.

So, my place if you look at the huge project organization, is somewhere in the matrix of vendors and consultants, but of course, it’s a key role- structural design is the basis of the entire project. Responsibility of making the project safe & stable lies with the structural engineer.

What was the initial thought process before finalizing the design of this project?
The architectural design of course was done by TVS Design, who specialize in Convention Centers from Atlanta, USA. When they showed us the initial architectural planning, we were quite excited, because there were huge column-less spaces & then the respective floors and above these spaces they had planted the commercial & residential spaces & those columns naturally could not come down in the convention & exhibition spaces.

We immediately realized that there were challenges in terms of structural framing & there had to be large scale transfers – load transfers & column transfers over large spans so that the exhibition center as well as the banquet hall could remain column free. Hence, this was a major challenge right in the beginning we had to face.

What are the key structural elements of this project?
There are 5 basements in this project and therefore the excavation went down 21meters deep from road level. As this plot lies next to the notorious Mithi river in Mumbai which is prone to flooding and toxic water getting collected, the exhibition center had to be designed keeping this in mind. The exhibition space was designed for very heavy load of five tons per sq. meter so that any kind of exhibition could be held there and in fact five tons per sq. meter can support exhibitions of ships & Jumbo jets.

The exhibition center had to be a large column free structure and above that were banquet halls which are column free spaces as well, with a span of 70 meters. On top of the banquet hall is a garden as the podium top forms sort of ground for the residences which are planned on top of the podium. Almost 1.8 meter thick soil load had to be supported on this banquet hall roofs. Naturally these large span structures had to be conceived in structural steel. Steel was the obvious choice for the convention center but the residences which were planned above the podium had to be built in conventional material because in India people don’t like to see steel beams hanging in the ceiling. So residences had to be in concrete and this was another challenge supporting heavier construction material over a structural steel frame. There is a theater with 2500 audience seating capacity. The roof is spanning 40 meters as the auditorium cannot have columns inside. On top of the roof of the theater there is a clubhouse & swimming pool.. So, in-short heavy loads are supported on very long span roof structures in all blocks of the building.

What were the various challenges faced by you in making of the project?
Since the construction had to be completed in 5 years there were almost 14 or 17 tower cranes dotted all over the plot & construction was happening everywhere. The construction methodology of each of the blocks – theater, exhibition, retail and the office was different. It was like working on 10 projects simultaneously. The methodology of the same was devised by the contractor, with our suggestions and modifications, to ensure smooth working. As 10 different sub-projects were going on simultaneously it required identification of the requirements of each of the projects and separate teams were put to work on them.

The analytical model of the building had to be one unique model and the member forces were extracted from the same model and then used by different teams. The strategy that we adopted right in the beginning was that we recognized that we are not only the structural designers but we are part of the larger team & whatever we do, whatever output we take out from our models, our software models should go as input to the next user and so that there is no duplication of work. The inter-operability of software’s was used in the project right from the beginning.

What role did steel play in the making the world-class convention and exhibition venue in Mumbai?
There is no doubt that there was no material that we could use for such large spans & heavy loads other than steel in this building. You can imagine that the exhibition center is 225 meters long and 90 meter wide & the banquet halls are 150 meter by 70-meters in dimensions. Then the theater having 40 meters span, so all these loads could be supported by no other material than steel.

In fact we derived a very beautiful benefit from using steel in the roof above the banquet hall which is spanning 70 meters. We designed a 2 floor deep, 9 meters deep truss and that truss had a middle level as well as a floor. The bottom cord formed one parking level, and the middle level was also a parking floor itself. The top cord was used to support the gardens. This is possible only because we used steel trusses which allowed cars to pass through the truss’s diagonals & verticals.

As the planners were falling short of cark parking in the basement, the cars could be housed in these trusses. Thus it was optimization of space as well as material, which was possible only because of steel. When you use steel, you can fabricate it while you’re doing something else. While the basement was been constructed, almost 50 per cent of the steel fabrication was complete. This was a big contribution to our efforts of achieving the targets on time.

How did the software RAM and RCDC aid in the construction of DAICEC?
RCDC is truly speaking a concrete design software. We modelled the building using RAM, STAAD.pro and analyzed it for the various forces – dead loads, live loads, earthquake loads, wind loads. We got the member forces. The forces in the concrete members were transported to RCDC which in turn gave us the reinforcement design of the concrete members.

RAM & STAAD.pro softwares have been used by us for the last 30 years and they are time tested & completely polished, they can give us all sorts of analysis data. It was seamless and STADD output can be transported to Tekla quite easily.

What are the unique features of Dhirubhai Ambani Convention Centre?
I believe that it’s the largest in India. There is no such huge space which is dedicated to Exhibition & Convention Center. Apart from Goregaon which is a huge ground so far, but this is first of its kind in India – Modern Convention Center with facilities.

Although it took so long, Mumbai today has this Cultural & Exhibition Center with all the facilities – the Exhibition Hall, Banquet Halls, Meeting Halls, Conference Rooms, Theaters, World Class Theater of 2500 capacity and then Art Gallery, Cultural Plaza, Auditoriums, Residential Blocks & some of these residences are also going to be serviced apartments for guests who would be coming for the conferences. It’s a complete whole infrastructure.

What were the project timelines from design to execution and how were they met?
The construction started in January 2014. The structure was completed in 2017 march which is 39 months, but the high point is structural steel fabrication. Almost 30000-32000 metric ton of steel was fabricated in just one year that was the high point. Just the next year a huge quantity of steel was in place, erected – which was a great achievement.

Can you share details about project collaboration between various parties involved?
As mentioned earlier, various contractors, vendors did use output provided by us and that’s how the duplication of work & time was avoided. Of-course we had so many glitches as it was like working on 10 different projects going on simultaneously, and the interfaces of those various areas, the speed at which we were working and then we were having RAM & STADD, Revit, ETABS, Auto CAD & so many software’s going on together & the Tekla person waiting for inputs, so all these things definitely had its ups & downs but the software teams were helpful & whenever problem cropped up, they smoothened the situation quickly.

How was your experience and what are your learnings working on the project?
The key learning is that as a structural engineer we plan our work in advance along with the strategies that are not only useful for structural design, but also for the overall project completion. Just reiterating, this project was like working on 10 different projects. So we planned our resources, manpower & the design strategies, structural design strategies that helped other disciplines as well.

The learning is-along with doing this kind of planning in structural design, we can also plan strategically to make effective use of software. Bentley calls them playbooks – RCDC is a playbook, RAM is a playbook and so on. So these playbooks have to be seamlessly integrated one after the other, so that you can have this group of softwares playing consolidated role avoiding wastage of time and duplication of work. Ensure interoperability between the software has to be planned just as you plan your structural design activities. That is the key to achieve timely & quality construction.

Transferring Emphasis for Development

With a vision to witness infrastructure benefitting the world at large and, actively participating in the same with some of their marvellous and game changing projects. AECOM believes that infrastructure is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoys intense focus from Government for initiating policies that would ensure time-bound creation of world class infrastructure in the country. In an exclusive interview Neil Banerjee, Regional Director, AECOM enunciates about the changing infrastructure projects, role of steel in this change, and their plans and much more… 

Read on the interview to get detailed insights….

Being one of the forerunners across all sectors of construction, what is your take on the Indian Infrastructure?
Indian infrastructure is a booming workspace with plenty of ongoing projects and lot many planned for the near future. After, a flamboyant epoch in the development of the road sector, it is taking a motley taciturn shift in the other sectors predominantly in Metros & Monorail to High Speed Rail (HSR), Bullet Train to further extending its spread in Hyperloop.

Infrastructure sector is a key driver for the Indian economy. The sector is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoys intense focus from Government for initiating policies that would ensure time-bound creation of world class infrastructure in the country. Infrastructure sector includes power, bridges, dams, roads and urban infrastructure development. In 2018, India ranked 44th out of 167 countries in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2018. Market Size: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) received in Construction Development sector (townships, housing, built up infrastructure and construction development projects) from April 2000 to March 2019 stood at US$ 25.05 billion, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The logistics sector in India is growing at a CAGR of 10.5 per cent annually and is expected to reach US$ 215 billion in 2020. Investments: India has a requirement of investment worth Rs 50 trillion (US$ 777.73 billion) in infrastructure by 2022 to have sustainable development in the country. India is witnessing significant interest from international investors in the infrastructure space. Some key investments in the sector are listed below:

In 2018, infrastructure sector in India witnessed private equity and venture capital investments worth US$ 1.97 billion.
In June 2018, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced US$ 200 million investment into the National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
Indian infrastructure sector witnessed 91 M&A deals worth US$ 5.4 billion in 2017

Government Initiatives: The Government of India is expected to invest highly in the infrastructure sector, mainly highways, renewable energy and urban transport. The Government of India is taking every possible initiative to boost the infrastructure sector. The Government of India has given a massive push to the infrastructure sector by allocating Rs 4.56 lakh crore (US$ 63.20 billion) for the sector. Achievements: Following are the achievements of the government in the past four years: The total national highways length increased to 122,434 kms in FY18 from 92,851 kms in FY14. India’s rank jumped to 24 in 2018 from 137 in 2014 on World Bank’s Ease of doing business – “Getting Electricity” ranking. Energy deficit reduced to 0.7 per cent in FY18 from 4.2 per cent in FY14. Number of airports has increased to 102 in 2018.

Being involved with one of the longest sea bridge projects – Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, can you share the details of the project?
The proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) which connects Sewri (in Island city of Mumbai) to Nhava-Sheva (Mainland) in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Maharashtra state, India has been planned with the basic objective of establishing faster connectivity between the island city of Mumbai and the Navi Mumbai on the mainland thereby facilitating decongestion of Mumbai and the development of Navi Mumbai.

The project consists of construction of a road bridge across the Mumbai Harbour connecting interchanges at both ends. The total length of the 6-lane road bridge will be about 21.800 km and will consist of approach roads, viaducts on inter-tidal zone, bridge across the harbour and interchanges at Sewri in Mumbai and at Shivaji Nagar and Chirle in Navi Mumbai. The MTHL will be constructed in three sections. About 4 km of the bridge length will be built with steel spans and the rest will use concrete. The MMRDA chose to use steel spans in these sections to eliminate the need to construct piers to support the bridge which could hinder the movement of ships in the area. This 4 km section includes a 180-meter-long steel span, which is the longest steel span in India. The shortest steel span on the MTHL is 110 meters long. The project requires 130 hectares of land. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) will contribute 88 hectares. The remaining land is privately owned. According to MMRDA officials, landowners will be given the same compensation package as that given in the Navi Mumbai International Airport project. Three hundred and twenty structures in Sewri were affected by the project, of which 250 properties were residential.

What is your take on steel v/s RCC?
We do not have a binary answer for this question. Prima facie, the cost of steel construction is higher than concrete sections. However, steel structures are lighter and more flexible. Hence, the gravity loads (like dead load and seismic forces) would be less, often, giving an overall saving in cost. There is an apparent increase in maintenance cost of steel structures. However, periodic maintenance is required in all structures – irrespective of the material of construction.

For major infrastructure projects in urban areas, steel is always a preferable option for ease of transportation and handling. Steel is popularly used for obligatory crossings at busy intersections. The prefabricated steel girders can be erected overnight with minimum disturbance to the city traffic.

As far as Transportation projects are concerned, what are the major challenges faced by you?
Availability of encumbrance-free land is the major concern, Obtaining Statutory clearances like Forest and Environmental clearances, Slow progress of work due to Cash-flow issues and enormous delay in getting decisions in case of re-design / re-engineering.

According to you which are the prime sectors of construction that will turn the tables for India, as far as the growth is concerned? Why?
The Expansion of the Metro Network in all the State Capital cities has already turned tables , Monorail in the satellite Towns, High Speed Rail (HSR), Bullet Train, Hyperloop (Pilot project initiated between Mumbai and Pune) and New Airports in small towns will be a game changer once in operation.

Which are the grey areas that need to be addressed by the industry to advocate structural steel construction in our country?
India has 131,326 km (81,602 mi) of National Highways (NH) connecting all the major cities and state capitals. National Highways comprise 2.7 per cent of India’s total road network but carry about 40 per cent of road traffic.

Which are the grey areas that need to be addressed by the industry to advocate structural steel construction in our country?
India has 131,326 km (81,602 mi) of National Highways (NH) connecting all the major cities and state capitals. National Highways comprise 2.7 per cent of India’s total road network but carry about 40 per cent of road traffic.

Unfortunately, the entire NH network is connected with RCC / PSC Bridges. Often, this is governed by the designers’ choice of an available template design rather than economics. A complete change in the mindset is necessary to accept the change of technology from RCC / PSC Bridges to Steel Bridges. The Government agencies should also take a bold stand to accept the increase in cost for the shift from RCC / PSC Structures to Steel Structures.

Which has been your best work so far involving structural steel?
It’s difficult to single out a project as the best work. I have extensively worked in composite construction of flyovers, bridges and jetties. Steel has also been widely used as a temporary support for underground metro systems. The interaction between surrounding soils, permanent concrete diaphragm walls and the steel strutting system make the designs very interesting. To me all projects in which I have worked, are equally good, irrespective of the size of the project.

What are AECOM’s plans for the next 5 years?
AECOM envisions a world where infrastructure creates opportunity for everyone.

What is your mantra for success?
To stay focussed and work hard is my only mantra to success.

Prowessing With Efficiency

The global leader of the roofing industry who have pioneered steel in almost every walk of life – be it infrastructure, institutional buildings, top notch manufacturing facilities, commercial structures or even contemporary residential segments is contributing their best in making steel the prime material of construction.

To speak about the current achievements and future plans of
Tata BlueScope we have with us the man of the hour,

Riten Choudhury, Managing Director, Tata BlueScope Steel…

Read on to know more….

How has been the journey of Tata BlueScope Steel over the years?
It was in the year 2003, when two global steel players discovered an opportunity to collaborate and bring to the Indian market the latest globally accepted technology and products. BlueScope Steel was the global leader in metal coated and color coated steel, with iconic brands like ZINCALUME®, COLORBOND® and LYSAGHT®. They were also the largest PEB manufacturer in North America, with brands like BUTLER® and MR24. Tata Steel was the largest private sector manufacturer of steel in India, with a 100-year legacy.

In 2005 an iconic JV between Tata Steel and BlueScope Steel set the tone for innovative, new age, quality driven steel building products and solutions. Since then, the journey has truly been an exhilarating one. Initially we launched our range of products imported from BlueScope Steel. Subsequently our first downstream facility was setup at Pune in 2006. Facilities at Bhiwandi and Chennai were set up in quick succession. We commissioned our state-of-art metal and color coating lines at Jamshedpur in 2012. The manufacturing plant at Jamshedpur was incorporated with equipment supplied by technology leaders Siemens VAI and was one of the most modern plants within the BlueScope family. With all the right ingredients in place – plants, people and processes; we have constantly been working towards introducing, high quality, well researched steel products manufactured in 4 strategically located facilities; made available through a wide network of sales offices and multiple touch points. Today, you will find Tata BlueScope Steel in almost every walk of life – be it infrastructure, institutional buildings, top notch manufacturing facilities, commercial structures or even contemporary residential segments.

What is your take on the current Indian steel roofing industry?
Indian Roofing industry is witnessing an improved acceptance for steel roofing, majorly dominated by pre-painted coated sheets which contributes around 55 per cent of the total steel roofing market. The products sold in the market include GI, GL, PPGI and PPGL coated sheets. The total market is estimated to grow to 3 million tons by FY25 at a CAGR of ~ 6 per cent. Customers from various segments such as industrial, commercial, institutional and residential are increasingly becoming conscious of quality of the coated steel cladding.

The market which was initially dominated by Zn coated (Galvanized) steel sheets, has gradually moved to Zn-Al coated steel sheets owing to superior performance over various parameters. The selection of profiles is also a key criterion, especially in Industrial and Infra Projects. Due to increase in awareness levels, concealed fix profiles are gaining acceptance over pierced fixing profiles especially in the Industrial segment due to better water resistance and performance. However, the industry is still struggling with non-adherence to correct installation and maintenance practices, which eventually results in reduced life of the structure. Color Coated Steel enables an architect to transform his dreams into a reality. Over the years we have witnessed a surge in the usage of steel for architecturally superior structures.

Being one of the premium roofing solution providers, how do you stand out from the rest?
At Tata BlueScope we have always focused on our end user for addressing their requirements. Through customization for every application or segment, we assure customers, architects, consultants, engineers or even normal house builders about quality and performance-oriented products and solutions. We collaborate with the world’s leading paint companies to jointly develop paint systems which provide eco-friendly, long lasting solutions. The products which are brought to the market have been tested for years under actual site conditions. We make our products available even in the remotest areas of our country through our well-established network of channel partners and currently have over 5000 touch points.

We offer value added services such as design, detailing, construction and maintenance which provide end to end solutions to our customers. The legacy of our two promoters and the product and service experience we offer, has helped us build a strong bond of trust with our customers.

What are the challenges faced by the roofing industry as of today?
Quality – A major concern today is awareness about the right kind of material bought from genuine manufacturers. We have seen a large influx of substandard color coated steel into the country. It has an adverse impact not only on manufacturers but also to the end user. We have come across poor quality imported material being locally branded and shown to be produced by reputed domestic steel companies, thus misleading consumers who unknowingly buy them.

Unorganized sector- Due to low entry barriers, many roll formers are entering markets setting up shops in an unorganized way without proper technical support like design and engineering. Lack of Safety practices and advanced construction capabilities – Due to compromised quality in machinery or equipment sourced, inadequate safety training programs and absence of safety culture, has led to increased fatalities on project sites. Unskilled workforces and inappropriate installation practices affect the overall structural instability, corrosion, leakages and longevity of the product / building in the long run. Material planning – Customers especially from PEB segment expect agility from suppliers in terms of shorter delivery lead times, variety of colors etc. However, steel plants accustomed to produce bulk volumes in standard sizes need to drive a mind-set change to cater to these expectations. At times this affects the overall project completion timelines. Lack of awareness of material storage and handling- While stakeholders (steel mill, reputed PEB manufacturers and roll formers) take complete care of the quality of material supplies. However, when it reaches to the project site (especially remote locations), due to lack of adequate loading and unloading equipment and storage facilities, material may get damaged which adversely affects the overall aesthetics and durability of the building.  Maintenance- Proactive maintenance is a significant aspect which is widely ignored leading to high maintenance costs in the long term. Regular interventions are necessary for greater aesthetics and durability.

What is your take on the latest technology coming into the roofing system?
Roofing industry has undergone immense transformation. Consumers today are moving away from conventional choices and opting for modern, value driven products and solutions. New technologies that promise faster construction, enable ease of installation, are well insulated – sound and thermally, are durable and fulfil green credentials norms; have wooed customers of recent.

With green movement gaining immense attention, solar compatible roofs are the next big trend. Further boosting sustainability are the green roof construction technologies that are lead free and can be used for rainwater harvesting. While thermal efficiency is an important consideration, it can also be achieved through innovative paint system like Tata BlueScope Steel’s THERMATECH™ solar reflectance technology incorporated in COLORBOND® steel that helps reduce inside temperature making it thermally efficient. Our roofing systems are lead free and can be used for rainwater harvesting.

Could you please elaborate about your manufacturing facility and its production capacity?
Tata BlueScope Steel set up its state-of-art manufacturing facility in Jamshedpur in 2012, with a capacity of 250,000 tonne per annum for Metal Coating Line (MCL) and 150,000 tonne per annum for Color Coating Line (CCL) and is fully equipped with Level 3 automation solutions and equipment from global suppliers. Tata Steel’s acquisition of Bhushan steel has further added another 450,000tpa metal coating capacity at a group level.

Additionally, we have 4 strategically located plants in each zone of our country, for roll forming of coated sheets and other building products. This ensures proximity to site locations pan-India, enabling on-time delivery.

What are your plans for the next 5 years?
We are focusing on further enhancing our customer experience by offering differential value propositions. We further plan to augment our mid-stream and downstream capacities for a sustained growth. Over the next three years we plan to double our color coating capacity.

What is your success Mantra that you can share with our readers?
Focus on long term strategic objectives while achieving short term goals and keep customer centricity at the core of your business. Develop an environment of excellence and entrepreneurship amongst employees. Strive to be the market leaders by delivering value to your customers and focus on operational efficacy.

Infrastructure Enhances the Construction Industry

Bridges plays a major role in boosting the use of steel in India and therefore maintenance of the same is required. RDSO the development organisation under the Ministry of Railways of India, which functions as a technical adviser and consultant to the Railway Board respect of design and standardization of railway equipment and problems related to railway construction, operation and maintenance of bridges.
Talking about RDSO’s major work at hand we have the man of the hour with rich experience over many years in the field is here to talk about the bridge industry advances and future plans.
RAJEEV VERMA
Executive Director- B&S, RDSO…

What as per you is the future of steel bridges in our country?
As per the present report, the steel consumption in infrastructure is 10 per cent, which is targeted to reach 30 per cent by 2030. The steel bridges will play a major role in achieving this target. Hence, the future of steel bridges is considered bright in our country.

How has steel been a revolution in construction of modern-day bridges?
Modern steel bridges are taking advantage of the latest advances in automated fabrication and construction techniques can provide economic solutions to the demands of safety, rapid construction, aesthetics, shallow construction depth, minimal maintenance and flexibility in future use. Steel also scores well on all the sustainability measures and offers a broad range of benefits addressing the economic, environmental, and social priorities of the ‘triple bottom line’ of sustainability.

Which steel project that you’ve been involved in has impacted you the most? And why?
RDSO is involved in planning, design and fabrication aspects of bridges being built across Indian Railways. So, it is difficult to name any one project, however recently commissioned 4.9 Km. long fully welded Bogibeel bridge, across mighty Brahmaputra river is one such project. RDSO, has not only been involved in planning stage, but it has done the fabrication inspection of this iconic bridge of Indian Railways.

What is the inspiration that helps you to keep going even in the toughest of times?
The long history of Indian Railways as an organization and the responsibility which this great organisation has bestowed on me keeps me going in toughest of time.

What is your take on steel v/s concrete bridges?
Being a railway man, it is a natural choice of steel bridges considering the heavy fatigue loading it is subjected to. The Indian Railways is using concrete bridges for smaller spans upto 20 m. or so but for longer spans steel is the natural choice.

What are the recent developments in the steel fabrication segment as far as Indian Railways is concerned?
As mentioned above, Indian Railways has recently completed construction of Bogibeel bridge which was fully welded. As a measure to increase output from fabricators and increase automation in bridge fabrication, Schedule of technical requirement has been revised to incorporate CNC cutting, CNC drilling, Automatic beam welding machines and other machines for bridge girder fabrication.

The railway & metro stations abroad are mostly built in steel with great aesthetics. What stops us from following the suit?
Indian Railways is looking forward to such opportunities. Recently, it has resorted to construction of Stainless-steel Foot Over Bridges in some coastal areas, to have better corrosion resistant construction material as well as good aesthetics.

What plans does Indian Railways have to push the Indian infrastructure?
Railways is expected to receive a financial outlay of Rs 10-12 trillion over the next five years. For the railways, the major works will be a conversion of all viable rail tracks to broad gauge, electrification of all railway tracks, and completion of the two dedicated freight corridor projects by 2022. Indian Railways will contribute a lot to the growth of Indian Infrastructure.

TRACING THE SKYLINES OF TOMORROW

One of the prime steel suppliers of the country having their name established across all the sectors of the industry is none other than the trailblazer – Tata Steel. They have rightly achieved their vision of value creation and corporate citizenship with their brand name ‘’Tata Strcutura’.

With the belief that steel is a versatile material for construction, and, will remain the main growth engine for the country’s development. They aspire to set bring international best practices for Steel application/usage in construction….

We have with us the man-of-the hour PRAVEEN SHRIVASTAVA, CHIEF OF MARKETING & SALES TUBES SBU, TATA STEEL who will spill some more beans about the leading steel supplier…
Read on to know more…

Being one of the pioneers of the Steel Industry, what is your take on the future of Construction in India?
Traditionally, Indian construction was based on masonry and RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete). RCC requires natural minerals like sand & coarse aggregates, which are gradually depleting. The problem is compounded by increasing water scarcity across the country.

In addition, technology continues to evolve towards new, less-resource intensive and more sustainable forms of construction. In this scenario, steel with its inherent advantages, assumes greater importance. The future is expected to be ‘greener’ and it is predicted that composite construction will play a greater role.

How does Tata Steel stand out from the rest of its combatants?
Tata Steel stands out from other steel companies because, it continues to innovate and develop new technologies and advanced products for sustainable construction to ensure optimum usage of natural resources.

What role has Tata Structura’s innovative products have played in changing the industry scenario?
India has a very low per capita steel consumption, and, typically uses RCC or conventional steel sections. In such a scenario, Tata Steel introduced steel hollow sections for structural use, under the brand name ‘Tata Structura’.

After a decade usage, the market size of this product has increased exponentially and achieved the intent for aesthetically wonderful structures. It continues to define the skylines around the country. We are the market leaders in chosen segments like infrastructure and major industrial projects.

How would you describe Tata Structura’s success story?
With changing times, Tata Structura’s innovative products have played an important role in the industrial scenario. This is a premium brand in hollow sections market and as pioneers in structural steel, Tata Steel continues to create demand by enabling usage.

Major infrastructural projects viz. airports, stadiums & metro rail stations are built with steel hollow sections and we are an integral part of these projects, not only as the material supplier, but also by supporting the AEC community. Our in-house team of structural experts for steel hollow sections support the efforts of stakeholders in project construction through customised services.

What are the key challenges faced by our Steel Suppliers today? How do we plan to overcome it?
The main challenges faced by steel suppliers today are urgent requirements of non-standard sections & MOQ issues. Also, the limited knowledge of steel design and fabrication with hollow sections in the industry, is compelling lesser usage of steel in construction segment. The Indian Standards for Design are not fully in line with international practices.

Steel has been popularly used in commercial structures. What steps should be taken to encourage builders to use steel in their major projects?
As steel availability has increased in the country, the builder community needs to switch over to steel frame construction, for achieving faster construction timelines. This will help them to achieve in early revenue generations of the facility & steel as an option will provide better life cost of the facility due its usage will lead to higher column free spaces, carpet area & faster project completion at targeted quality and life of the structure.

Please state about your novel products such as H&I Sections and Fire Resistance Steel?
In steel frame buildings, the fire protection of the steel frame is one of the major cost component and hence steel buildings are becoming uneconomical. Our R&D has developed an innovative steel grade which will meet the requirements of the structural engineers for fire protection without any coatings or may be in some case with minimal fire resistance coatings. With this grade, the steel structures will become more economical and meet the customer requirements.

In order to reduce the work at project sites and give more customised products to our project customers, we have launched factory-welded H&I sections which are being manufactured under factory-controlled conditions instead of site fabrications. This helps consumers to access better quality product, with less project lead time.

What steps should be taken by the government to promote steel construction in India?
With Government of India focusing on using on developing infrastructure (Airports, Railways, Roads & Waterways) Smart Cities and ‘Make in India’ initiative, will boost steel demand in the country. However, the codal provisions and BIS standards need to be updated in line with international codes. Also, focus is required for skill development and for steel fabrication & erection works.

What is Tata Steel’s plan of action for the next 5 years?
We at Tata Steel as always shall focus on developing value added & Innovative products for the construction segment. Also, we are trying to facilitate and bring international best practices for Steel application/usage in construction.

What Message would you like to give our readers?
Steel is a versatile material for construction and will remain the main growth engine for the country’s development. It is a material with high strength to weight ratio and will remain the main construction material for decades to come.

PIONEERING INNOVATIVE COMMERCIAL SPACES

Sattva Group being a real estate king over the last three decades, what is your take on the journey of our Indian Construction Industry?
To a large extent the real estate market is influenced by changing trends. The price and value of a property majorly fluctuates due to multiple influencing factors. In the residential sector the growth is coming from the middle-class/middle-income space. The construction of an excess of luxury homes led to an overkill in the segment. However, we saw three or four years ago that real estate was facing massive consolidation. The customer turned more discerning than ever and this brought a slew of developers of greater scale and higher quality. The economy is now doing well, and the overwhelming young population needs a place to call home. So, we can expect a great turnaround.

While 2018 was a year of reforms, 2019 looks stable with a strong government in the centre, and the real estate industry is poised for growth. It looks like the industry is bent on coming back with a bang. Underperformance is a thing of the past. Prices are rising in commercial and residential real estate. Demand by the way of inward investment is on the rise from blue-chip US corporates. The next big step will be listed onshore real estate investment trusts, which will come into force in 2019. There’s been a huge leap in Indian companies leasing space. The share of domestic firms leasing out space in 2015, has met the numbers of US companies. The IT-ITES sector has continued to remain on the top in terms of share of office occupancy across major Indian cities. This indicates that with a good government the sky is the limit for our industry.

What has been the role of steel in changing the construction dynamics? How?
Steel has brought about a paradigm shift in the way buildings are being planned and executed. Steel structures call for finalization of a whole lot of details well in advance, stake holders get to sit across the table and go through a lot of details, making the entire project more well planned, helping the team to understand the scheme in totality. The various benefits of meticulous pre-planning result in efficiency and ease of execution, planning and procurement of allied material well in advance, and give builders better control on the project execution. Steel buildings are now being made in factories and only assembled at site. Hence, steel is ushering the Industry towards mechanization and making it less labour intensive and reducing uncertainties in project execution and completion.

Sattva Group the Real Estate Giant. What has been the secret of Sattva being at the top of the game?
Salarpuria Sattva stands for complete transparency and financial discipline. We are committed to on-time delivery of our projects and don’t miss deadlines. Our focus is on futuristic, energy efficient designs to reduce operational cost for our clients.

Above all, we are the ‘one stop solution’ for all our client’s needs. These are some of the factors that have helped us gain a leadership position and provide cutting-edge commercial spaces that are on par with the best in the world.

According to you what are the key challenges faced by the Developers?
The main challenges faced by the developers is disproportionate development. There is too much development in IT-Tech Parks and over-supply coming in from the unorganised sector. The confidence of customers has slipped due to the unscrupulous methods deployed by many developers. Unfortunately, customers tend to measure all developers by the same yardstick. Another roadblock is the prolonged time periods that sanctioning authorities take, which further stalls constructions. This is mostly due to lack of training techniques.

It is time that we as developers move away from a low-cost labour mind set and embrace technology. The need of the hour is to raise skill levels, provide better welfare measures to our workforce and ensuring greater safety on sites, so that they are motivated to take up our projects.

With technology being an important aid in major projects, how has it helped the real estate sector?
Technology increases precision in work execution, reduces dependency on labour, reduces uncertainties in projects and facilitates faster execution of works. Steel frame buildings are factory fabricated with the best of technology available and under strict quality control at the steel fabricator’s facility.

This not only reduces a lot of on-site labour-oriented work, but it also comes with a very high degree of precision that enables fast track construction at site. A major take away is that the number of labourers on site can be drastically reduced.

Where do we lack in terms of real estate sector as compared to the other developed countries?
As a country we don’t lag behind in any way. The best of technology available anywhere in the world in the construction industry, is available in India. It is just a matter of how much, of it we use and how we use it. Yes, at times, we may be resistant to change, but it’s more a mind-set. Once the industry understands the life cycle cost of a project and its dependencies, the change to adapt to better systems will invariably get accepted.

In our Knowledge Park project comprising 5 million sq ft in Hyderabad, we have made a major shift and adopted steel frame structures. We undertook the rigorous exercise of getting all our stake holders together and meticulously planned the design and execution of the project. We can proudly say that this project will turn out to be as good or better than any others.

Do you believe we have the right kind of structural steel supply to cater various demands of clients?
Yes, in terms of steel built up sections, we have the right kind of steel supply, however we have limitation in terms of range of availability of rolled sections. As of now this can be addressed by opting for built up sections, but I believe that soon, we shall conquer this challenge also.

India has steel manufactures like JSW Steel, Tata Steel etc. who manufacture the required grades and thickness to cater to the demand. We also have a few world class structural steel fabricators in India.

What outstanding newness does Sattva Group plan in the next 5 years?
Salarpuria Sattva is strengthening its core expertise in IT Tech Parks and residences and extending its presence in hospitality as well, by entering the Resorts arena. We are all set to put up 8 million sq ft of cutting-edge IT Tech Parks across the IT capital – Bengaluru, in various locations. We also set up the Oracle Tech Hub Phase 1 in record time. Beginning 2019, we entered into affordable housing with around 6 new projects underway across Bengaluru.

In Hyderabad, we have delivered 6.5 million Sq. Ft. of cutting-edge space that is occupied by the cream of corporates. Another 16 million Sq.Ft. is in the pipeline, coming up in the growth corridor of the city. These include Knowledge Capital of 2.4 million Sq.Ft. and Knowledge Park comprising 3.2 million Sq.Ft. Our flagship IT Tech Park Knowledge City – an IGBC Platinum rated green Building of 7 million Sq.Ft. is touted to be the best in Asia. The Group also tied up with the Telangana government to build Image Towers, a world class animation, gaming and visual effects centre of more than 2 million Sq.Ft.

What message would you like to give our readers?
Work with integrity and transparency. Financial discipline is what pays in the long term and developers who can understand the pulse of the market, keep abreast of changing trends and meet deadlines can win customer confidence in the long term. Integrity is everything in this business.

Contemporary Construction a Novel Trend Setter

Being one of the pioneers in pre-engineered buildings with a strong reach in South Asia and Vietnam Zamil, has been establishing a strong foothold in India over the last eleven years. Being the world’s most reliable and innovative manufacturer, service and solution provider in the steel industry it has explored new segments of construction successfully for making itself different from the rest. To speak about Zamil’s future expansion plans and current happenings we have with us the man of the Hour
Alakesh Roy, Managing Director,
Zamil Steel Buildings India Pvt Ltd
Read on to know more…

How did Zamil Steel building evolve?
We have started operations in India, in 2008 and it is our 11th year here. Currently we are among the top players in India. Our journey has been quite good since inception. We were the late entrants for PEB market in India. Although, we were present in the south east Asia, Vietnam for 21 years since 1997 or even before Kirby came to India, our entry has been late in India. But now we are growing at the rate of 40 per cent year on year for the last 3 years.

Since inception how has been Zamil journey so far?
The journey so far has been very good. Initially, there was a period of learning, as economy was not doing well, but after that we had growth till 2012, and again 2013-14 was a flat year for us because the economy slowed down. From 2016 onwards we are growing at around 30-40 per cent year by year.

According to you what is the current construction scenario & the upcoming trends in India with respect to steel construction?
I think both are very positive, because if you see in India the per capita consumption of steel is among the lowest, it is less then 70kg per person per year, so the ministry is also focusing on increasing it by 200kg per person per year immediately on a short term basis, whereas, in the long term basis is at par with the developed economy.

Even the government spending on infrastructure has increased hugely, and with the GST being in place there are huge variations in the businesses. India has seen growth in the warehousing sector which will continue for the next 2-3 years. Accordingly, the consumption story in India has now slowed down temporarily, but we foresee it will increase subsequently, once the economy as well as the agriculture economy grows.

What are the key challenges faced by our PEB industry today? How do we plan to overcome it?
I, think the key challenge is the constraint of pricing. We are being squeezed into a situation, where our vendors are the majority, big size commodity players don’t give us any credit, whereas, the customer expect a long duration credit from us in terms of execution. Most of the PEB Industries companies are closing, who are not doing well, are those companies which are not able to manage their funds well.

It is only the big players like us who survived, but eventually what we foresee is that the small & medium companies will get wiped out. It is a good thing to suggest the customers, but, over eagerness in terms of underpricing & giving open credit is harming the industry and the specific company. We are selectively choosing our customers who are well reputed & with good payment history. We have healthy order book & we are choosing our customer wisely which constructs the overall workflow.

Which are your key customer focused segments? How different is Zamil from its competition?
Zamil has a mass consumer base, as well as niche. The niche segment we are focusing into are aircraft hangers, new technology segments which are emerging other than the automobile sector. Also, in the warehouse sector we are almost 70 per cent in the market. We are doing 70 per cent of warehouse business in India, and we understand the requirement of the end customer like flipkart, amazon etc. better than our other competitors do. We are also focusing on the high-rise segment be it commercial or industrial. We are building vertical factories and also giving solution for the same. Yet, another area that we have added in our portfolio in the last two years is the infrastructure segment – government power grid & railways. We are building all the rail factories which are coming up in India and the power grid GIS segment across India.

What is your take on on-site structures vis-à-vis factory fabricated structures?
Factory fabricated is always the best because the quality is assured, and support is better. The onsite structures are never better, that is why the whole PEB concept is moving from on-site to factory fabricated. As per that there, cannot be any mistake as it is the order of the day. Under the controlled environment the through put is good and people do appreciate & understand that. Although on site might be apparently cheaper which it actually is not because the productivity & everything is very less, and the quality standards are doubtful, so the factory made is always the better.

Since Zamil has presence both in India & South East Asia, how is there PEB industry different from us?
In India the growth story in more Internal whereas in South Asia it is more external. Vietnam consumes 50 per cent of our product, and, remaining 50 per cent is exported to South Asian country. The challenges are different as compared to India. The kind of structures that goes in Philippines will not be the same kind of structures that goes in Malaysia or Indonesia.

Philippines is more of island there the job size are smaller but in Thailand the job sizes are huge, and Vietnam the job size are bigger.

So, those kinds of differences we are serving for the last 21 years and we are amongst the top players, so our technical expertise & our solutions provided are well acknowledged. We are being awarded repeatedly over the last several years. Between India & South East Asia there can be situation where we can export and interchange products.

The Indian growth story is so huge that we are unable to supply even within India from one plant, so we are nearing to our capacity in India. In Vietnam we have got a higher capacity, but the market is very wide & varied. Otherwise sourcing wise South East Asia is the cheapest. In India we have got all these issues of MIP & such but in South East Asia there is no such things, they can import from China or Vietnam or any other neighboring country, no restriction.

What strategy should be adopted to promote structural steel construction in India?
I think the first strategy is Awareness. I think India is too old on brick & concrete & mortar. Another good thing that is happening is that with the environmental laws in place you cannot use your normal soil for converting into bricks, water consumption & water usage is also a big issue especially in the metro cities and in such places structural steel is gaining prominence. Another, area we are seeing attraction is you need to store brick & sand & all those things and the area like Mumbai, Delhi or other big cities they don’t have space so there steel construction is ideally suited. You don’t have space, so you fabricate the structures in factory and simply assemble it over there.

What are your current priorities & your action plan to achieve them?
Our current priority is aiming to be number one player in India. The reason why we are expanding our facility in pune & not adding the second plant elsewhere, because with GST, two factory setups immediately was not required by us. Only after exhausting one facility expansion we would move further.

Maharashtra as a state & western region we have enough to sustain our development model. If you see all the industries which are in the north of India, specifically catering to the holiday tax which was enjoyed for the period of 10 years from 2006 to 2016 are either on the verge of shutting down or descaling. Maybe central India is next sufficient what we are thinking. We are also doing a study; we are planning to export 30 per cent of our produce to Africa because there is continuous growth coming up.

What message would you like to give our readers?
People are aware of steel as a construction medium. Nobody is interested in primary steel but in the automobile industry everyone is interested, so what we would like to give our readers, if you are in the business of steel, automobile is not the only segment of focus but should equally focus on other segments as well. Slowly, automobile will shift away from steel because if you see the engines are now of aluminum, body part 36 per cent is made of plastic. Plastic & other forms material is taking over. Steel will be subjected & limited to soon only in the construction areas. Readers should take more interest in steel in construction rather than thinking steel as medium for other industry.

Astute an approach for Delivering Excellence

He has world’s most notable projects to his credit along with wide range of structural design experience across the diverse field of construction. He also has been honored with the title of “40 Under 40 Recognition Award” and believes that steel plays a supreme role in delivering LERA’s landmark projects due to its quality of faster construction.

In an Exclusive Interview, NAYAN TRIVEDI, PARTNER, LERA CONSULTING STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS shares his richworking experience on projects that includes supertall towers, mixed-use complexes, cultural projects, educational facilities and transportation projects both in India and overseas, and, the key to delivering projects with brilliance…

Being one of the award-winning structural consultants’ firm, what makes you unique?
LERA Consulting Structural Engineers has a portfolio that includes award-winning and landmark projects across the world. We have created successful designs for the entire spectrum of buildings including office, residential, hotel, retail, government, aviation, and transportation projects. We pride ourselves on the close working relationship we maintain between our New York and international offices through all stages of a project, which helps us provide a unique combination of global institutional knowledge and local “street smarts.”

It is our combination of local experience and global expertise that allows us to fill a very special role in the market. We work closely with our clients to push the envelope in terms of design and construction through the world-class techniques we bring to their projects, while also being knowledgeable of and responsive to the local market. LERA has worked successfully in 50 countries across six continents.

Such diverse and far-reaching work demands a high level of flexibility. One standard project approach is not enough. All project stakeholders, including the client, architect, consultants, and contractors, need to work as a team to understand the parameters of each individual project and deliver contextual solutions. In all projects, we endeavor to instill an early and open dialogue between all members of the design, ownership, and construction teams in order to create a successful collaboration, which is crucial to the success of a project.

Having worked on projects both in India and overseas, what is your take on the future of construction Industry?
The impetus to deliver projects of the highest quality, faster and more economically will continue to push the development of new techniques in design and construction. At the same time, more advanced modeling abilities will lead to ever more dynamic architectural designs that will also call for innovative engineering solutions.

In the Indian market, the push for faster construction is creating an opportunity for developers that are able to successfully implement a holistic design and bring new techniques to the market. The teams that invest time and resources into making smart, context-specific decisions early in the design process will come out on top.

It’s important to remember that moving fast is not the same as going somewhere fast. The decisions made early in the design process have the biggest impact on the overall schedule, with their effects compounding over the duration of the project. You can move very quickly through the initial stages of design, but if you have to come back and rework it all later because the proper inputs were not gathered and considered, the overall schedule will be affected. The teams that put in the work up front are more often than not the most successful.

How do you think steel has been an aid to keep up your tradition of innovation and advancement in technology?
Structural steel has enabled our landmark projects around the world – The Oberoi Mixed-Use Tower in Mumbai, located in Worli next to Three Sixty West. The wind loads in Worli drive the design of the lateral system of the slender tower. The outrigger system utilized to make the lateral system work is made possible by structural steel, creative engineering, and carefully planned construction.
In the context of the previous question, steel will be an enabler to speed up the overall project delivery cycle, thus providing better value to clients.

According to you which are the prime sectors of construction that will turn the tables for India, as far as the growth is concerned? Why?
We feel there will be growth in all areas of the Indian market, but we see a lot of opportunity to use steel construction to deliver high quality commercial real estate. Yes, steel has additional costs compared to the more ubiquitous reinforced concrete construction, especially in the Indian market. But as the industry continues to develop, steel will provide significant benefits to speed of construction. As the value of time becomes more and more important to developers, and contractors gain more and more experience, we believe that steel construction will gain an edge in the market.

Also, it is imperative to keep advocating for sustainable construction techniques. Sustainable design is crucial in meeting the challenges of urban densification, and, protecting the environment we all depend on. We are seeing a positive trend in the industry in this regard. Buildings and construction account for around a third of global energy use, and sustainable design and construction will make a big difference in the lives of Indians and people everywhere.

What are the various concerns of the Indian Construction Industry vis-à-vis the developed countries?
The rules, regulations, and code requirements in the Indian Construction Industry are evolving as the market matures. This is a positive trend, and one that we have seen in other developing markets. As the market matures, the rules and regulations improve along with it. However, negotiating the changes while they are happening is a challenge for the industry. Participants need to keep an open mind and remain flexible in order to make the most of an evolving landscape.

Which has been your best work so far involving structural steel?
In New York, we are very proud of 4 World Trade Center. Completed in November 2013, 4 World Trade Center was the first tower to open on the original 16-acre World Trade Center site, 12 years after the September 11 attacks. LERA worked closely with the owner and architects to realize their vision of an office tower that maintains a quiet, dignified presence while offering stunning clear views of the cityscape.

Designed to meet LEED Gold criteria, 4WTC is 977 ft tall (298 m) with a gross above-grade area of 2.3 million sf (213,700 sm). Utilizing an innovative structural system, the tower boasts column-free corners, 80-ft (25-m) clear main spans, and 20-ft to 45-ft (6m to 14m) cantilevers around the perimeter, accomplished by the use of only four perimeter columns per side, which pass seamlessly into a complex below-grade program.

In Mumbai, we are currently working on One Lodha Place, a new 1.6 million-sf (149,000-sm) office tower located in Lodha Place in Mumbai’s prime business district, and the first A+ office building in India. The building has 43 above ground floors and two basements, with a structure comprised of composite floors spanning to composite columns and concrete shear walls.

What are the challenges faced by structural consultants?
Facing technical challenges and finding solutions is the part of the job of being a structural consultant, and at LERA we have some of the best structural engineers in the world. The real challenge is developing solutions that are context-specific, and then being able to effectively communicate those solutions to the client, the architect, and the design team.

The structure is only one part of the equation for a successful project. There are the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, the vertical transportation systems, the building envelope, a myriad of important architectural design considerations, the construction methods, and, above all, the financial considerations that make the entire operation possible. Great structural engineers don’t only design safe and efficient structures, they design efficient structures that enable the rest of the project to succeed.

It is often the case that the most efficient structure, in a purely quantities-based sense, is not the best for the project. As a structural consultant, sometimes you have the good fortune of being able to make “win-win” decisions that make the structure more efficient while also serving the goals of the project as a whole. However, this is not usually the case. Most of the time, spending a little more money on the structure is well worth the cost when the project’s greater context is taken into account. For example, using high-grade concrete and steel in composite columns can be expensive compared to low-grade materials. But when you factor in the additional FSI that the smaller member sizes free up as saleable area, the benefits can significantly outweigh the costs.

Another example we have implemented is to provide additional flexibility in the architectural layouts. If a plan is anticipated to have two separate 3 BHK units, a typical design might put structural walls or columns between the units. By removing some of the columns and walls, you may spend a little more on structure, but it completely opens the floor plan for maximum flexibility. As a result, potential customers can have 3 BHK units or take two and make their own 5 or 6 BHK units. This flexibility can be a big boon to the developer in terms of driving sales. The challenge is finding these solutions and then communicating them to the client, architect, and design team, so that the right decisions can be made for a successful project.

What is LERA’s action plan for next five years?
We plan to continue to work on the projects we enjoy the most: interesting projects with great teams where our collaborative approach to problem solving can bring value to the client.

What message would you like to give our readers?
The most important message we would like to share is that we love collaborating with clients, design teams, and contractors who enjoy working together to find solutions. In this industry, we are constantly faced with complex problems that demand complex solution. It’s important to work with people who respect each other and enjoy solving problems together what that makes our work so enjoyable, and it’s also the best way to deliver projects.

 

 

A global real estate player whose enduring projects is their identification. This has also made them as one of the market players of Ahmedabad. Going Green is their motto with they have and are implementing in all their works along with its prime focus of customer satisfaction.

To speak in depth about their most promising project and future plans we have with us the man of the hour
Vishal Sheth, Partner, Addor Realty Pvt Ltd & Savani Infrastructure …

 

What is your take on the Indian Real Estate Sector?
Real estate sector in India is expected to contribute 13 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2025. India is emerging as an important business location globally. It’s favorable demographics, and, strong economic growth has made India attractive for property investors.

Also, with the growing IT&ITES sectors, the Indian offshoring operations of multi-national companies are increasing the demand for commercial space. Now, the real estate sector is becoming more organized and is providing the much-needed infrastructure for India’s growing needs.

Having one of the landmark projects – Statue of Unity in your city, how do you think this would aid in the growth of Gujarat’s Infrastructure?
Yes, The Statue of Unity, made its name in the impressive list of man-made structures which has earned global admiration. Definitely, its presence in our city has boosted tourism both locally, and, Internationally. The history makes it evident that once-in-a-lifetime structures like the Statue of Unity, which is ambitious both in its scale and its design, will definitely help in the growth of the state’s infrastructure.

What is your take on steel v/s RCC?
Steel Structures has many benefits in terms of environmental friendly, high durability, speed of construction, reduction in dead load compared to RCC etc. But, as far as India is concern, steel structures are not common as it is an oligopoly market – only a few steel contractors – no perfect competition, which may result in affects the cost and quality, also affects the maintenance of costly fire rated paint, due to reversible deflection of steel members is another concern and leads to heavy maintenance cost.

Looking at the benefits and future aspects of steel structures I must say there should be healthy competition in terms of steel vendors and alternatives to costly paints to make it viable as well to increase acceptance level in market.

The Indian government has laid down quite a few polices RERA, GST, REITS and the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act. How beneficial are such policies to the Real Estate Industry?
Well, every well-planned policy defined for any sector by government is beneficial for that industry so is for real estate. Government has initiated and implemented good policies like RERA, GST, REITS and many others.

These policies have not only changed the sector, but also improvised a lot and are benefited by both developers and buyers. These policies would work as strong pillars for the industry to grow multifold with higher trust in developers, speedy paper work & other procedures, transparency in way of working and many more.

What are the major hurdles faced by the Developers?
Real Estate is considered a worthwhile investment for Indians. As an outcome, the real estate companies are exploring several prospects in the peripheral areas to create an impression. By 2020, the India real estate market is anticipated to reach US$ 180 billion, according to Indian brand and equity foundation.

There are hurdles in every industry, and, so is in real estate for developers. There is delay in obtaining sanctions, advertising and marketing the project, encroachment of land, land rates, limitations placed by local authorities, speculations on real estate prices to name a few. But the Indian government has been working to resolve the issues, and, to make Indian real estate industry a smoother area with less hassles.

 

Can you highlight some steel or composite structures that Addor Realty has constructed or are going to construct in the near future?
We at Addor Realty have been creating structures that last for a century and it is the same with all our projects since inception. We have developed more than ten projects and every project is structured with the highest class of composites and will continue the practice in the future as well.

Our commercial and residential projects like Cloud 9, Aspire, 14 Crowns at Ahmedabad are some of our landmark projects with one of the finest and strongest structures. Our upcoming project by Savani Group ‘World Center 3’ which is the first high-rise commercial project at premium location of Sabarmati Riverfront CBD Zone in Ahmedabad with LEED certified green building, and, will be one of the best of its type in the steel structure with best architectural design.

What is your opinion on Smart Cities Mission?
Smart Cities mission is a foot forward which will prove to be a good step. It will help a lot to urban planning and infrastructure.

What makes Addor Realty / Savani Infra unique?
Addor Reality and Savani infra believes in being eco-friendly. So the new project of Savani Infra is the green building which is going to support environmental sustainability and awareness. With plans of expansion we are ensuring customer care and after sale services and mainly customer satisfaction.

How do you plan to make your stand even stronger in the market?
We plan to be stronger by being environment friendly, by creating strong customer satisfaction base and systematic work.

What would like to say to our reader?
We would first like to thank all the readers for believing us and keep that trust and support us and come and visit our sites to know more about us.

Creating Purpose with Eminence

One of the renowned Real Estate Leaders and have created a strong foothold in the industry, with its dynamic IT Projects, and, with the belief that steel will create a revolution in the near future.

To share in depth more of Rupa’s future and strategies we have with us the face of Rupa Renaissance who believes in the importance of steel and implementing the same to its fullest potential.
The Man of the Hour, ROUNAK DESAI, DIRECTOR, RUPA RENAISSANCE LTD. Read on to know more…

Being one of the leaders in the field, what is your take on the growth of the Real Estate Sector in the country
In my opinion, real estate is going to do very well in the long run and after the recent budget there are quite a few positives for the real estate sector. As much as the residential, commercial, IT/ITES sector is concerned they too will catch up space soon…though It is a bit dull now in some parts of the country, but I think it will take its own stride. The right quality is what finally matters and the project with such qualities and standards will not face any kind of hurdles eventually.

What strategic measures are taken by Rupa Group to be one step ahead of its competitors? How are you different from the rest?
Irrespective of the competition or competitors our company policies and values are very clear. Our mission statement and our vision statement is to achieve the standard of spaces, where people feel homely while working in an environment which provides them with all sorts of facilities & amenities.

The mission is to become the most customer centric real estate firm & maintain a no-compromise standard on quality & technology to achieve immersive success. So, the primary focus being customer centric there is a personalized touch to all our deals, to every client we deal with, and, that is what finally sustains in today’s world. To incorporate the right technology, and, looking forward to technologies that are going to be available in the future and applying them to their best potential in the present is what makes us stand out from the rest.

Having made a mark in commercial and IT/ITES sector with 100% customer satisfaction. What is your take on IT Parks/Office Spaces in steel in India?
I believe steel structures and steel construction as much as it could work for residential sector, has much more potential in IT Parks/Office Spaces. As it can be more evidently used to design a much efficient column to column grid which makes the space look grand and attains the comfort zone where an individual is working heavy hours

When, you talk about the commercial & IT sector there are a few high-rise structures, and, When we go higher, it becomes more feasible for steel structures as the number’s kind of fit in. It’s going to bring in a revolution of sorts 5-6 years down the line as developers would be looking to explore steel construction more aggressively.

Can you highlight some steel or composite structures that Rupa Group has constructed or are going to construct in the near future?
We have boarded into steel construction with our most ambitious project-Rupa Renaissance, Navi Mumbai. An IT Park with 1.8 million sq. ft. of development at Turbhe/Juinagar in Navi Mumbai consists of more than a 1.5 million sq. ft. of IT/ITES/Fin. space. One of the largest commercial projects in steel composite construction in Navi Mumbai, the project aims to set a benchmark in the industry who is considering steel technology. The project also aims to be sustainable with the aim to achieve platinum rating green building status.

In all our future development we are definitely going to explore steel construction to its best potential. We will explore steel in detail by doing comparison analysis, like we had done for Rupa renaissance. As, everything worked out well with steel construction, owing to the analysis done, irrespective of the slight risk involved as not many developers opt for steel construction, and we definitely do not regret the decision.

What are the key challenges faced by the developers in our country?
Lately, there has been an ease of doing business across different sectors in India. In Real estate after instating RERA there is a lot of clarity on the buyers as well as the builders’ side. So, everyone including the buyers, clients and the builders are now working together perpetually with no discrepancy and full clarity.

There are no major challenges as such, but we might face few challenges down the line because of scarcity of construction materials. So, scarcity of raw material is a challenge, but, i think that is pretty much addressable with the new technology and the kind of R&D that is happening.

What are the main advantages of steel structures when compared to the conventional structures?
When we carried out our analysis with Rupa Renaissance the major advantage was the time behind the project completion – The time R.C.C construction would take to complete and the time Steel Construction would take. If everything is planned well, without any major modifications or alterations in the due course of construction saves a lot of time and in turn is a luxury in today’s world. As for any developer time saved is money saved.

I think time is a major advantage and the other advantage is the kind of value, with the technology like steel construction which is two-fold. We have an excellent floor plate in steel construction with a very efficient column-to-column grid. It also enables a very clean construction practice as there is no scaffolding used for the support of slab. Steel hence offers clean construction, so, these are the few advantages though there are a lot more but these are the few highlights of steel structures.

How is technology changing the construction industry and the way we execute buildings?
It is definitely changing and the prime technology which is creating a buzz in the industry is composite steel construction. Lately, there have been many developments in high rise, residential and commercial buildings. The mindset is changing about steel construction that it is only limited to factories, warehouses and industrial centres. So that notion is now changing and the builders are exploring and executing buildings which are completely in steel or in composite steel. There is a high-rise residence building on Altamount Road in steel, and, we are doing a steel building in navi mumbai which is a relatively huge development.

People are going that road so that is something that has changed and apparently there is a lot of buzz in the IT and software industry because of artificial intelligence taking pace. A lot of marketing strategies are going to change in the near future which means wherever you are wearing a VR Gear you will able to walk around your entire project, entire office and entire residence and will be able to get a complete look and feel about how your end product will look like. So, such advancements are welcomed, and we have gracefully accepted the same. It is very interesing and engaging to the customers and clients.

Do you believe we have the right kind of structural steel supply to cater various demands of clients?
In India there are only very few major players who can execute large-scale steel construction around 3-4 good big players that can cater to huge steel demands. However, I feel you need to have right steel contractor, design team and structural consultant who would enable an efficient steel design, moreover to get the best value it is very necessary that the design is being developed the way it is envisioned. Also to have the right contractor is the key in steel construction.

In our case we believe in were in the right hands from the word go, Access Architects, the principal architect for the project had an immense role in making us believe in this technology and realizing the perks of the same, through Access Architects we were introduced to Eversendai our Structural Steel & Design Contractor, & LERA our design peer review consultant, & eventually after awarding the project to them its been a smooth journey until now! This team comprising of Access, Eversendai & LERA has put in immense efforts and worked to their best and prime potential to achieve the grandeur this project holds.

How does Rupa Group plan to contribute to bring in a change in the Real Estate Sector in the coming 5 years?
We at Rupa group are very customer centric and have been constantly working round the clock to fulfill our customer and client demands and by exploring new technologies we now want to showcase and encase what good technology and its right implementation can do to a project in terms of the value of space that is created for the end user. We want to set a standard which is difficult to replicate and at the same time very efficient and affordable. We are in pursuit of foraying into different real estate verticals and are geared bring in a revolution of sorts wherever we go.

What message do you have to give to our readers?
We as an industry must strive to get the best out of the technology and explore more and more into the steel construction industry.