Steel buildings offers functional, practical, and long-lasting material with a universal aesthetic appeal which adds identity and symbolism. It is a versatile material that is not only durable but is also the most sustainable because it can be recycled. This gives steel a significant value even after the life of the project say,
Ar. Piyush and Pooja Kapadia, Principal Architect, Pooja & Piyush Associates
What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
The significant global environmental impacts building construction through water consumption, energy use, gas emission and solid waste; hence, the building’s sustainability becomes the fourth consideration after cost, time, and quality for the success of its design and construction.
Steel is versatile material that is not only durable but is the most sustainable, because it can be recycled. This gives steel a significant value even after the life of the project. It provides efficient, safe, high quality, speedy construction and enables addition-alteration or extensions either vertically or horizontally. The large column free spans, innovation in building forms and the speed of construction cannot be matched with any other material. It can be concluded that steel construction is an ideal solution to meet sustainability goals based on its attributes and solutions at each phase from manufacturing phase till the end of life of a building.
What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
The steel industry needs to introduce and encourage the use of steel buildings to developers. It should also create awareness among common people about sustainability and benefits of steel by conducting conferences, exhibitions, and competitions. Technical sessions for designers and training programs for contractors & construction workers can pave way for promoting structural steel construction. India being the second largest producer of steel, the industry needs the support from government to promote use of steel by offering schemes and subsidies to people who practice sustainable ways to build. The vision of housing for all can be very well met with use of pre-engineered steel buildings.
How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
The key to successful design is to find an ideal balance of its production to its design. With increasing number of large-scale structures such as public and commercial buildings, hospitals, transportation hubs being constructed using steel makes them usable fast which saves both money and time in the process. Steel buildings offers functional practical and long-lasting material with a universal aesthetic appeal which add identity and symbolism.
What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
With awareness that is being spread in construction industry regarding the advantages and ease of steel building construction, the market will see a huge boost in construction industry. We shall witness more innovations in structural design to create interesting architecture.
Although, steel construction was mainly used in industrial buildings; with rising economy new buildings weather commercial or residential buildings will be more pre-engineered and prefab structures that shall save time and money. It shall also use minimum labour and offer healthier lifestyle to occupants.
Post pandemic: everyone has realised the importance of nature and its resources eliminating plastic benefits of artificial materials… going sustainable shall be the only way forward. the industry has also witnessed the migration of labours and untimely completion of projects due to price rise, shortage of material, its deliverance and now changing lifestyle demands of occupants etc. making it the most unorganised industry.
Pre-engineered steel buildings give the opportunity to resolve most of the issues and can change the outlook of construction industry…If the buildings are manufactured in factories and assembled on site; the projects would be more sustainable and would save lot of natural resources including water…they would be also completed within time, with minimum labour and defined cost offering the occupant not only a stress free and healthy lifestyle but also make this the most organised industry.
What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
With various sections in hollow tubes and pipes one achieves stability and slenderness in design wherein structural members become the feature as design element…Steel’s properties make innovation possible, allowing ideas to be achieved, solutions to be found and possibilities to be reality. Steel makes the art of engineering possible and beautiful.
New lightweight steel makes applications lighter and more flexible while retaining the required strength. We can create any shape or span we desire and steel structures can be designed to suit the innovative designs.
Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
We as architects always have an urge to think and do things out of box… while designing our own residence we wanted to explore all that we preached to our clients and in search of alternative sustainable techniques of construction, steel composite structure was a strong magnet.
The house ‘ heer- radha’ was awarded with the green building award and was conferred with platinum rating by IGBC in 2017.
Later we got another opportunity wherein the client who wanted to build the house as quick as possible. We were successful to erect the basic steel structure of the house with deck slabs in only eight days…the later works of interiors were completed in another 5 months…saving more than 55 per cent of natural resources and 40 per cent of water… we are now working on show room projects and hi rise commercial spaces which shall are designed to be operational in 6 months from day we commence work on site.
This house in Aurangabad is for a financial consultant, whom we convinced to build a pre-engineered house which will be an investment for his lifetime. The aim was to create architecture that offers natural and healthy living spaces, that have a long service life and high performance by maximizing recycling of materials and minimizing environmental impact. With use of steel structure, hollow clay block walls and all-natural materials; this house is designed considering all climatic factors that makes it sustainable & offers healthy lifestyle to occupants.
Manufactured from earth, water, fire, and air; the house offers healthy & sustainable solutions for our buildings with various experiments to design, build & be pure.