BASF Catalyst India Pvt. Ltd., Chennai


The design, fabrication, supply and construction of PEB package for project Pasumai was awarded to Kirby India by one of its Indian BASF divisions – BASF Catalyst India Pvt Ltd. Kirby Building Systems India Pvt Ltd has been the pioneer of Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings (PEB) in India. The team convinced the client to go ahead with PEB, as all their requirements related to process changes and various other specifications can be easily accommodated during the design stage which was well appreciated by the client who firmly believed in the company’s capabilities and awarded this project. Headquartered in Germany, with world-wide operations, BASF is the largest chemical producer in the world and supplies products to a wide range of industries.

The building at Chennai is itself a contemporary example of a large scale operation and flexibility of designs. The project consists of five buildings – Production Building, Slurry Tower, Finished Goods Storage/Warehouse Building, Central Operations Building and Utility Building.

Project Specifics
This project is named as BASF “Pasumai” project; with “Pasumai” in Tamil referring to green which symbolizes the unique concept of using green and sustainable construction model and techniques used in constructing this plant. This project is built up in Mahindra World City on the outskirts of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Highly technologically advanced and among the largest and most sophisticated processing plants, this BASF facility will ultimately manufacture catalytic converters used in automobiles. This facility near Chennai will cater to all the automobile facilities located in and around the region, thereby reducing the overall transportation cost and lead time for all automobile manufacturers.

The buildings are designed as per IS 800:1984 codes with serviceability criteria as per IS 800:2007 codes with all the geographical data like wind velocity (IS 875), seismic loads (IS 1893:2002), loadings (IS 800:1984), etc. taken into consideration. The design of the building is complex in nature with new innovation techniques used to meet all the stringent building requirements that could meet all their processes. The plant is dependent on the process right from building specifications to machinery layout. Even with the project being in the construction phase, all the design changes in the building layout were incorporated right from beginning to the end, without hampering the schedule of the project.

The engineering team successfully managed to overcome the restrictions on height of the column and on depth of both beams and columns to fit in all the client’s requirements. Special emphasis was laid on the design parameters in order to ensure that all changes, including the complex pipe racks arrangement running all around the building with varying loads and levels, were accommodated to suit the varying processes for different type of vendors.

Structural Elements
All the buildings feature majority of heavy star columns (double I section columns) and beams where a single piece is spanning 15 m long and weighing upto maximum of 14 MT.

The Slurry Tower is the highlight of this project with its G+4 structure. Built at a height of 27 m, this tower consists of cruciform columns with heavy loads to the tune of 100 KN/sqm or 10 MT/sqm on each mezzanine floor which are loaded with very heavy machinery. Glove fit accuracy defines the design for the heavy pipe racks and utilities that run all across the structure. This design perfection is the byproduct of employing latest engineering/drafting tools with the highest precision of fabrication well within the allowable tolerance limits as per MBMA standards. Mezzanine layout on all four levels ensure that the members were connected with ease at site, ultimately aiding in reduction of overall construction time. Some part of the slurry tower is provided with fascia which consists of MS box sections, mainly for fixing the BASF logo on the fascia with additional steel supports.

This building also consists of 8 mono rails from 4 MT to 6 MT, at different levels to take care of machinery movement without any outside crane requirement. Many openings are given all around the building to ensure free movement of the machinery from one place to another with the help of internal cranes. FM Approved Standing Seam roofing system is used with solar panels loads which makes the building 100% leak proof. Sinusoidal wall cladding has been used with high precision finishes to make it aesthetically appealing and architectural beautiful.

Finely Fabricated
The expertise of Kirby design department helped in giving special aesthetics to the utility building with curved fascia on side walls and architectural wall cladding in front of the building, which is one of the most unique features of this project. The fascia fins dropped from the top of 27 m to a varying height upto 15 m, the curved roof of the utility building, the cantilever staircases, valley gutters made of stainless steel materials, fire rated paint applied to the operations building and many such features with high-end and super rich specifications make this project unique in nature.

Multiple cranes up to 80 MT capacity with 120 boom lifts, suspended platforms, and aluminum scaffoldings were employed during the erection stage. The structure was erected in grid pattern in order to achieve the required speed thereby maintaining the safety and stability of the structure.
All the materials fabricated went through a stringent welding process as per the AWS standards with very negligible tolerances. The welding quality is ensured by tests like Dye Penetration Test/Ultrasound Test for the automatic Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) process used for the flanges to web welding & the Flexible Core Arc Welding (FCAW) used for the various fitments of child parts and the dimensional accuracy is verified for compliance to the acceptable tolerances.

Steel Specification
• Built-up Section Plates – Grade 50
• Hot Rolled Sections – Grade 36
• Cold Formed Sections – Grade 50
• Roof & Wall Sheeting – Grade 80
• Stainless Steel Gutters & Handrails-Grade 26

Overcoming Challenges
Due to availability of very less space for the storage and erection, handling of materials at site was one of the major challenges. The project management team at plant and construction management team at site, handled the project very efficiently with a detailed plan chalked out in order to supply materials in the required erectable sequence without affecting customer’s priorities.

To ensure timely project completion, a detailed micro-level plan backed up with precise supply chain management was followed through Kirby’s SAP system, right from the enquiry stage till the final dispatch. Kirby India’s SAP has been used to interlink design, detailing and fabrication, thus enabling proper coordination and timely sequential delivery of material to site. Communications and checks were initiated at critical points. Further, regular meetings were called internally to monitor critical paths and to endorse corrective actions as and when required.

Safety First
In addition to the inherently safe practices followed by Kirby, it also offers supervision and safety audits at site. The company deployed innovative solutions like highest safety standards which were followed in line with international norms to achieve zero accidents. The Kirby execution team showcased highest level of safety standards, with over 150 skilled workers working on-site at the peak. Daily tool box meetings were held to review the project status and the way forward was planned with regular quality check in collaboration with the client. Moreover, corrective measures were taken to meet the client’s schedule and all their requirements with world-class service.

There were safety sign boards installed at various locations and a session on safety induction was conducted for workers. Apart from this, workers also had to undergo medical tests at regular intervals. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was made mandatory for all workers to ensure safety of each and every person for different type of works handled at the site.

Tested and certified by authorized third party agencies, the project made use of boom lifts to take the labour to the required location, fall arrestors, life lines, safety net, aluminum scaffolding, etc. at the site.

With the erection process being highly technical, additional training sessions were also conducted at the site to educate the builder staff on correct installation procedures EHS practices to be followed. Skilled and trained manpower was employed to effectively execute the works and handle heavy construction equipment.

Employing Steel
With a total of over 3 lakhs man hours consumed for construction of all the buildings, over 4,500 MT of steel was used in this project and a major portion of the raw material such as plates, coils, etc. was procured from leading steel manufacturers based in India and other parts as per the project requirement.

Project Highlights

  • Standing seam roofing sheet of 24 gauge with 360 degrees double lock system outside and 26 gauge color coated liner sheet inside
  • Sinusoidal wall cladding of 26 gauge is installed and is constructed only up to 1m height. There is a gap of 200 mm between the column outer flange and wall. The sheeting is placed on the outside of the wall at a distance of 430 mm from the outer flange of the largest column on any given grid.
  • Fiberglass insulation of 50 mm thickness with GI mesh for entire roof area
  • Pre-galvanized secondaries (120 gsm)
  • Framed openings & canopies with necessary trims & flashings and soffit panel.
  • 4 per cent of roof and wall area consists of skylights and wall lights each for all the buildings
  • CHS (Circular Hollow Section) pipe bracing considered for roof and wall
  • High strength bolts (HS Bolts) have been used for all primary connections
  • 3 coats of paint involving epoxy primer, low VOC MIO intermediate paint and final polyurethane finish paint giving excellent durability and long term recoatability with total DFT (Dry Film Thickness) of 250 microns. Central operations building is fire proof and can withstand upto 2 hours of continuous fire.

Client: BASF Catalyst India Pvt. Ltd.
Architect : Aswathanarayana & Eswara LLP
Steel Solution Provider : Kirby Building Systems India Pvt Ltd
Steel consumed : Over 4,500 MT
Total Area : 15,900 sq. mtrs.
Status : Completed



Based on the winning design from Living Steel’s International Architecture Competition, RESTELLO reinvents luxury living. The idea behind RESTELLO was to design and execute an environmentally responsible steel structure to cater to the need of society in terms of luxury, comfort and cost and to bring customers closer to the future trends in building. Conceived by UK architects Piercy & Conner, it combines traditional eastern architecture with innovative sustainable practices to create the very latest in modern living experiences.

Design Brief
Steel building is the future for providing sustainable development. At the outset, the design team was provided a simple brief to bear in mind – the main structure would be steel. The steel ‘skin’ of the building comprises one perforated steel screen and a second inner skin of floor to ceiling glazing. About 90 per cent of the construction material used was to be manufactured at the factory end, and later assembled at site. The structure was envisioned as having a highly superior finish thanks to the steel walls. Moreover, the steel structure would also allow for long spans, creating uninterrupted living spaces; and the perforated façade filters the light while providing natural ventilation.

Creating the Vision
With a competent team at the helm, the project made use of cutting edge technology to develop a unique building. Living Steel, a worldwide, collaborative program designed to stimulate innovative and responsible housing design and responsible housing design and construction was launched in 2005 by the World Steel Association. The program was developed to help address the unprecedented, communities and the quality of people’s lives stemming from growing urban population. The members of Living Steel manufactures include Arcelor Mittal, Baosteel, BlueScope Steel, CELSA Group, Corus, Erdemir, IMIDRO, Posco, Ruukki, SeverStal and Tata Steel.

The project, however, came with its own share of challenges. The prime reason being that the technical specification was unlike that of any normal contemporary buildings. The grade of concrete required was specific to the project and was not readily available; it was the efforts of a competent research team at Jadavpur University, Kolkata that help surmount the problem. Moreover, vendors for a project as unique as this were not easily found and a few had to be developed. It was the acumen and experience of the team behind the project that these seemingly difficult issues were overcome. The result – RESTELLO is not only a unique building in Kolkata, but, in entire India.

Redefining Concepts
Featuring 12 exclusively designed boutique duplex homes, with enviable area efficiency, RESTELLO offers a harmonious balance between the outside world and your own personal space. The perforated steel sheets on the exterior give a unique façade, provide greater thermal comfort and reduce the need for air-conditioning. Its unique geometry with two layers of filtered light façade acts as resistance to high winds and heavy lights at the same time allowing proper ventilation and day light.

Each apartment boasts a double height terrace, encased in an adjustable perforated steel façade. This allows fresh air to circulate, without ever compromising on privacy or security. The striking façade notwithstanding, this building also impresses in terms of utility, offering resistance to earthquakes and fires, thanks to its efficient designing. RESTELLO uses recycled steel, reducing the material used and energy intensity in the manufacturing process. Galvanized and painted steel protects against corrosion, damp and termites – ensuring a longer life for the homes. RESTELLO espouses the latest in smart, sustainable residential design without compromising livability.

RAVI TODI, Managing Director, Shrachi Group
In our way forward in developing cutting edge technology in the art of smart living, Shrachi Group in association with Piercy Conner Architects, UK, has developed the very first steel residential building RESTELLO in the country. Located in the opulent neighborhood of Rajarhat in New Town, Kolkata, RESTELLO is a class apart and takes luxurious boutique living to the next level. The building portrays a striking medley of traditional eastern architecture and innovative & sustainable design from the west combined to offer the very latest in modern living experiences. Designed to fit the ultra-modern lifestyle, RESTELLO is the building of the future with state of the art thermal insulation and enviable double height terraces. Built out of recycled steel, RESTELLO offers a harmonious balance between the outside world and your own personal space. Based on the winning design from Living Steel’s International Architecture Competition, RESTELLO beckons you to come and experience your very own urban utopia

ARCHITECT STUART PIERCY, Director, Piercy & Company
Conceptually, the project is the symbiotic relationship of a sealed, conditioned contemporary living space enveloped by a permeable and responsive patterned outer skin. Looking to the expressive and perforated architecture of Kolkata, the pattern of the outer skin is a direct response of layering sun paths with external views

Client : Shrachi Group, Kolkata
Architect : Piercy & Company, UK (formerly Piercy Conner Architects)
Structural Engineer : Price & Myers, UK
Steel Sections : Manufactured according to need
Software : AutoCad, STAAD.Pro and StruWalker evolution
Timeline : 24 months
Status : Ongoing



A product warehouse building was conceptualized by ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL) and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) for IOT Infra to cater requirement of product handling and storage of OPaL’s Petrochemical Complex. Built at Dahej, Gujarat this is a 1-km long and 135m wide structure covering an area of 1,40,000 sq. mtrs. The complete work of product warehouse including pre engineered building was awarded as LSTK job to joint venture of Katoen Natie and IOT Infrastructure based on International Competitive Bidding (ICB). PEBS Pennar was selected by IOT Infrastructure for design, fabrication and installation of pre engineered building of product warehouse, which was accomplished with peak manpower of 250 workers and approximately 9.2 lac safe man-hours.

Project Brief
With a simple brief given to design the state-of-the-art product warehouse with flexibility to select bagging machines vis-a-vis silos, and to have maximum possible storage space, the building is designed with unsymmetrical frames. The silo frames are the mainstay of the structure with rafters resting on the RCC building. The building is the widest multigable building ever done by Pennar. Designing of the structure was done using continuous jack portal; where 24m jack beam was used as the portal to make column-less space inside the building, as the customer required free end space of 135m by 24m along the length of the building.

The complete design is vetted by EIL, which gave the approval for the design after being satisfied with the codes and the design methodology adopted. Star columns are used at each expansion joint in order to maintain portal stability and economics in longitudinal and transverse direction. In addition to space restriction, the clear height had to be maintained along valley time to facilitate the movement of machineries and vehicles. The entire building is installed with Double Lok roofing system which ensures 10 years of leak proof warranty.

Structural Elements
The basic structural system consisted of main frames with secondary members provided between these frames for sheeting support. The columns and rafters of the building are of varying web depth, with a maximum web depth of 1000mm. The rafters are resting on jack beams at the interior of the building. These jack beams span across 24m and were for full length of the building at five locations wherein the maximum web depth of the jack beam was 1400m. The secondary members are cold formed “Z” or “C” sections varying in thickness and having maximum thickness of 2.5mm.

Structurally Exclusive
The project is a unique and challenge in respect to both, designing as well as installation. There was no such reference which made the entire design to be contesting. Stability was the major concern with collateral load of dust, wind speed and seismic load. The entire team of engineers toiled hard for the approval of the project.

Fabrication and transportation of huge structures was an exceptionally arduous task as it was not possible to carry out welding onsite. Apart from this, the biggest challenge was to gather and maintain a huge task force of skilled workers together and maintain the momentum at project site. Despite several challenges and constraints, the team at Pennar accomplished the project successfully with the best of its quality and time.

Steel Specifics
Considering the application of steel in the realm of pre engineered building and ease of usability, steel was selected as the material of choice. This impressive structure was instituted using multiple deployments of resources and was erected from different expansion joints and by connecting the junctions. The built-up “I” sections and jack beams were fabricated from plates of ASTM with minimum yield strength of 345 mpa. These built-up “I” sections were fabricated with flange to web fillet welding which was carried out in a continuous submerged arc welding machine. The end plates/gusset plates etc. were joined by continuous fillet welding manually. The secondary members were from ASTM A 653m with minimum yield strength of 345mpa. Other hot rolled sections used such as angles/rods etc. were of I.S 2062 with minimum yield strength of 240 mpa.

The biggest challenge for this project was the huge volume in terms of area of work. During conceptualization and design stage, the challenges were cost optimization and minimum construction time. The sheer size of the structure proved a challenge even when it came to deploying multiple teams and resources. The limited timeline of 8 months was yet another area that contributed to the difficulties faced by the team. The manpower used in the project was in proportion to the size and mobilizing sufficient manpower while working overtime was a major contributor to the list of difficulties which were overcome by the team of qualified professionals at hand.

Safety First
For a project of this size, it is absolutely essential to have the safety regulations down to a pat. The project saw safety screening of deployed manpower, imparting onsite safety training, job safety analysis of individual work methods, safety gears like full body harness for workers on height, using safe access methods like boomlifts, man-basket etc. in order to successfully and safely complete erection of the design.



Design Concept
The site is located in the north-east corner of a residential complex in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. The elongated southern section of the site is reserved for a future low-rise residential development, and the commercial building is restricted to the elongated L-shaped bulb at the northern extremity.

The raised residential development on the west, resulting in a sunken section within the site, along with the shape of the plot, the orientation of the views, and the surrounding hills stretching from west to east along the north, and the fragmented building program have contributed to the development of the building concept.

Two perpendicularly oriented prisms form the bulk of the building area. The lower one contains flexible, free span work spaces for sale/lease, and the upper one is specifically formatted to suit the requirements of the client’s corporate office. The long and slender lower block hovers above a landscaped sunken courtyard that also contains the lobby and public spaces. The building volume serves as a transition point between two conditions within the landscape. On the south, where cars approach the lobby, the building projects out from a steeply banked grass berm that merges the levels from the road access to the raised section on the west. The movement under this hovering monolith creates a volumetric expansion towards the north where a large water sheet creates a space of calm and reflection where the lobby and public areas open out onto.

This movement is a spatial and transitional analog for the barely plausible relationship between the upper and lower building blocks. The impression is one of balancing on the edge as the upper block turns at 90 degrees and perches delicately on the lower one, cantilevering out 16.0m over the sunken courtyard below.

This volumetric separation and reorientation reduces the perceived mass of the building, creating inverted and differentially scaled ‘T’ sections in 2 axes, and especially as the building is approached, the sensation is of an elongated edge hovering above the water and a large prism balancing delicately over it. From a distance, the volume of the corporate office becomes the attractor, a point of reference.

Structurally Fluent
These precise transitions need a highly tuned and nuanced set of structural solutions, as well as a unified skin that would break from the traditional scale of a stratified expression, developing instead a more ambiguous monolithic proportion that would heighten the sense of a series of precarious intersections between massive, porous volumes.

Apart from the shear core in the south, the superstructure consists primarily of steel. A lightweight web of slender members expresses the structural behavior of the building. The final solution is simple and elegant, but disguised within this coherent network is a complex engineering process that has effectively managed to reconcile an ambitious idea with the practical optimization and scalable replication and detailing during the fabrication process that is required to execute the structure.

The structural configuration went through multiple iterations before the design team reached a solution, but overall, it was found that the engineers from Cantor Seinuk (WSP) were able to substantially reduce the material consumption and member sizes by working with a delicate, distributed web. The maximum impact has been achieved at the ground level and volumetric intersection points where a lightness that is commensurate with the design intent has been expressed.

Aesthetics and Exteriors
The double skin solution, with superimposed layers of glass and a punched/perforated aluminum screening system enables excellent views outside of the office spaces while filtering the glare and heat. Controlled daylight floods the internal spaces, reducing energy costs through a scientific analysis of perforation patterns while also eliminating the need for any internal solar control blinds.

This layered assembly of perforated aluminum, glass and the exposed network of structural members creates a sense of density, lightness and porosity that vitiates the mass of the building volumes.


Malik Architecture

Cantor Seinuk (WSP)

STAAD Pro, Acad, Revit, TEKLA


Fe 410 (YST-250 Mpa)/ Fe 490 B (YST-350 Mpa)

1200 MT

Tender Stage