Design with Steel

Steel Affirms Timely Construction

Steel constructions seems to be a sustainable solution in construction industry and has witnessed that steel construction has an edge over other construction systems. It provides the possibility of moving forms to another location based on the need and has ability to be designed and shaped for large span design says,
Ar. Ramkirana Bhat, Associate Director
Urban Frame (Space Matrix Group)

What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Speed of market is the mantra in today’s time of high growth. The competitive market scenario is presenting new innovations in the field of design & construction with each passing day. One thing that has sustained has been the use of steel in construction. It is witnessed that steel construction has an edge over other construction systems.

Another, clear advantage is the ability to deal with complex structures both in terms of spans and more importantly in creating dynamic forms. Steel construction provides the possibility of moving forms to another location based on the need. The flexibility to make them adaptable to an existing built form makes it the best suited option to explore and exploit. Metal has a beautiful ability to be designed and shaped for large span design. This can be done without any hinderances, thus, making it an obvious choice for construction.

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
Prefabrication ensures that the designed steel structure can be segmented elsewhere and assembled at site. This not only provides flexibility for completing multiple tasks simultaneously at site, but also ensures timely completion of the design. Time being an essential factor in construction, steel structures alleviate delays. The Time factor and the flexible reuse of steel contributes in yielding economical solutions. When we look around us, most of the complex designs are solved with the use of metal, bridges, hangers, towers and industries, creating not only an efficient and but also an elegant sense of space.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
In our experience most of the commonly used grades are available in India, but the industry will need to closely watch the changing demand scenario. This improves our engagement with the market, challenging our outlook for seeking experts to design steel structures. A wonderful opportunity to collaborate, contribute and design more complex structures and bridging this gap between creative demands with newer solutions is essential.

A gamut of options is available to create, explore and shape better projects through newer solutions. Technology also elevates better chances to provide apt solutions, through simulations. This, therefore, not only creates platform to bring in better construction methods and technologies into play but also adds another layer of designing and creating better structures adding on to the quality of the spaces we reside in. Project assessment through augmented models helps in fabrication of steel structures creating wormhole from beginning to the end of the construction.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
Upskilling both qualitatively & numerically in design & execution will have an uptick & technology will play a key role. With growing high-density urbanization & corresponding verticalization of cities, a big shift towards steel construction is high. Also, steel constructions seem to be a more sustainable solution in construction industry. Drifting towards high rise in urban areas, steel will be an important material which will see its light of day soon.

This provides faster construction rate and better building efficiency. Adept use of technology in synergy with innovative solutions is transforming the construction industry. Demand for project timeline have been steep and the best solutions to abridge the timelines is through the usage of prefabrication techniques. There will soon be a hiatus in other material usage for flexible design solutions to meet adequate requirements. A direction towards sustainability will strongly drive more use of green materials soon.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
Smart city missions are paving new cycle of development across the country encouraging an active participation by the Industry which is an opportunity that can’t be missed. Collaboration with design schools & international experts towards knowledge sharing & exploration can be a continual process which will have a long-term impact.

Dense urban developments will soon demand faster and large-scale projects in various pockets of the city, across the country. A continual learning in adapting steel design is necessary to set newer methods to current solutions. Precedents from many countries and cities abroad can set benchmarks for shaping our cities better. Adaptive usage of this flexible material ensures better standards of construction.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
Roofing for tennis courts at Padukone Dravid centre for sports excellence –
The idea of springing from ground to move higher was taken as a metaphoric representation of rising in sports. This was thus captured with a dynamic form. A fluid movement and connection were emphasized to achieve this idea. Large span activates witnessed in this project promoted the idea to explore steel structures.

Sporting facilities are best suited for unhindered spaces, for both the indoor and outdoor sports. Biophilia being a strong concept, that urban frame promotes, a symbiotic relationship between nature and design was therefore achieved. Mimicking the shapes of nature, the canopy over the five tennis courts both resonates as well as transforms itself a part of the flora and fauna surrounding it. The strong connect with nature, yet serving its function is what makes people more invested and focused on the activities it manifests in this space.