Steel offers flexibility, strength, and accuracy and saves construction in any kind of construction. It is used across all sectors of construction as it provides accuracy. Steel is the future says Ar. NIKHIL KANT AGARWAL, PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT, ESPACES ARCHITECTS
Q. What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
A. According to me the main advantages of steel are flexibility, strength, and accuracy.
Generally conventional materials for construction work are concrete in which accuracy is less, formwork and drying period is required, whereas steelsavesthis very accurately.In other words, you also save time and obviously cost.
Economic conditions matter for any successfully completed project timely. To save time, we should encourage steel in every manner in any kind of construction. I can be on and on in favour of use of steel in construction etc to the extent that there should not be any second thought in using steel rather we should use it very extensively.
Q. How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
A. Few points to be noted if we use steel in construction in planned way in long run, we save time and money both because suppose form work is being made in steel it lasts many years if we service it regularly.
Only disadvantage of steel I feel is rusting that I think is manageable because we can take care all our products made out of steel easily like the way we get our cars serviced regularly.
Another point is if any form is to be made in construction it is difficult to be made in bricks, concrete etc.Unlesswe make in knockdown formwork which can be destroyed later, whereas, in steel you can directly make the object without any formwork which costs nothing because of life that iswhy my preference is always steel in comparison to concrete etc.
Q. What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
A. It is good if industries are making almost every section. When we say steel, it can be reinforced steel, MSsheets for formwork/ deck sheeting etc., stainless steel materials like railings etc. If you look around steel is used for fast applications as well in construction industry.
I feel the world is going to accept steel with both hands it is everywhere in almost every part of construction be it structural, plumbing, electrical etc.
Q. What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
A. In next 5-7 years you will find drastic change in our industry and huge use of steel in every part of industry. Now a days I still feel fabricators are not that educated because they do not want to work on that in my opinion, I have used steel rather I am more comfortable making my main stairs in m s steel in comparison to RCC though the entire structure is new which shows my affection towards steel. I also recollect in my first building we have used girders enormously to save the building.
Q.What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
A. The best way to increase awareness is to increase workshops and lecturers online because of present scenario.Also, I am extremely in favour of writing articles the way I am doing it right now.
I believe the use of steel is still missing. In my opinion basic self-supporting knowledge is required which I feel is still missing. Then comes time like it takes too much time to write or to explain. In believe STEEL IS THE FUTURE.
Q. Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you
A. There are many projects in which I have used lot of steel like:
- In facade I had made steel 3D shapes. Inside the house I have used main staircase in MS steel instead of RCC as boxes cantilevered steps almost for six floors
Further adding is central well lift in glass and framed again in m s steel
- In other project of mine I have used MS steel 4 mm thick sheet for making folded Plate steps as dye press from factory to give proper strength to staircase only
- In many other buildings I have used many elements in steel in interiors for enhancing spaces I am still working on many places in steel
- I have made lot of portable structures in steel as guard room and terraces gazebos etc
So I feel steel is very much in and a wonderful material to be used with the help of great thoughts and skilful labour.