Design with Steel

Steel A Preferred Material

Steel has been the preferred material of choice in various segments of the construction industry and has many tangible benefits over other materials. It is bendable, malleable and can be used to create a form, otherwise, challenging to be made from other materials, utters,

Ali Abbasi, Principal Architect, A Cube Architects

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Steel is a wonderful material for construction yet to be fully explored by architects in India. The large column free spans and innovations in building forms and speed of construction, that use of steel structures brings forth are unmatched by any other material.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Steel as a construction material has many tangible benefits over other materials. It is bendable, malleable and can be used to create a form, otherwise, challenging to be made from other materials.

Since, steel sections can be fabricated at factory and assembled on site it becomes faster and easier for achieving a very complicated massing of forms in a shorter time. Cost of construction should be seen not only in terms of material costs, but also should be evaluated in terms of time taken in completing the project and handing over the building to its users. Time taken to complete a steel building project is faster and gives us huge benefits as compared to other more conventional methods provided its planned well from the beginning.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
There are lots of interesting options currently available in the market in terms of sections and grades or if any special sections are required, they can be made available from other suppliers outside the country.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Steel has been the preferred material of choice in various segments of the construction industry namely industrial and warehouse, retail shopping malls, commercial spaces and IT parks, auditorium, and cinemas where large spans and column free spaces are required.

Highrise towers and other specialized buildings are also being designed with steel structures. Steel buildings will be the possible solution to provide mass housing to the over congested cities where urgent resettlement of the dilapidated building tenements need to be done. It might also be the way forward for building large affordable housing to people.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Steel should be promoted as a material of choice in the construction industry by educating its tangible benefits to architects, developers, and engineers. Seminars and workshops should bring together people from the industry to interact and resolve issues that might hinder the use of steel construction.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
Reception Block – A building block at the entrance with a grand reception area, fine dine restaurant and a semi open-semi covered banquet area which would serve as a welcoming point for guests and would act as a focal gathering point for the resort with themed villas.

Also, an area dedicated to the back of the house and ancillary service areas required for functioning of the resort were added but taking care of not to hamper the circulation or ambience of key areas of the luxury spaced reception block.