Interarch offers Structural Steel systems, which strengthen multi-storey steel buildings.
The first steel frame skyscraper was the Home Insurance building in Chicago, Illinois in 1885. Even the Empire State building in New York, and many popular landmarks of the world were built with steel. High-rise buildings or multi-storey buildings which are built completely in steel are fairly limited in India and may even be viewed as a new concept in the construction industry.
Value of steel
Interarch specialises in structural steel systems which allow optimisation and efficiency in designing steel oriented multi-storey buildings. These buildings have un-matched benefits such as:
• High strength to volume or mass ratio.
• Speed in construction and time saving in comparison to RCC, resulting in early return on investment.
• Steel frames are lighter in weight compared to RCC frames. Lighter foundations are required for steel buildings due to less weight than RCC resulting in cost advantage over civil construction.
• Occupies less space and can be designed for larger span or column free spaces, resulting in greater coverage, this helps in large open office spaces, large auditoriums, concert halls, etc.
Delving into the mechanics of high rise building construction, the hot rolled steel sections make use of higher grade steel which adds strength to the building. As a construction material, steel decking is a vital component for steel buildings. Composite steel decking laid on each floor enables to transfer lateral loads more effectively making the structure stronger than conventional rigid materials. This added strength per floor allows the overall core steel structure to be lighter and even more efficient. High-rise frames are constructed of H-columns or box columns (vertical-support members) and H-beams (horizontal-support members). Cross bracing or shear walls are used to provide a structural frame with greater lateral rigidity in order to withstand wind.
Use of steel creates large, column-free internal spaces; thus, these are particularly advantageous for open-plan offices and large auditoriums and concert halls. The steel frame when compared with RC frame results in sufficient extra space to accommodate all service conduits without significant loss in head room.
Engineered steel structures are faster to erect compared to reinforced concrete frames. The elements of framework are pre-manufactured in the factory under effective quality control thus enabling a better product. The connections for each part are built in and pre-punched into the members and hence reduces time, on-site activities, materials and labour, causing little disruption to normal life of the community, unlike the wet concrete construction process.
The availability of the building in a shorter period of time results in economic advantages to the owner due to a shorter period of capital deployment. In comparison with concrete construction, steel frames are significantly lighter. This results in reduced loads on foundations. The foundation of high rise buildings usually consists of concrete piers, piles, or caissons that are sunk into the ground. Subsequent alterations or strengthening of floors are relatively easy in steel frames compared to concrete frames.
The way forward
Although, such construction technology in India is still at a nascent stage, the structural designs and technological development in the Indian structural steel industry has improved. This form of construction will see widespread applications in high rise buildings, infrastructure and housing in the coming years. This is a logical progression of the industry and India has a lot of catching up to do.
Arvind Nanda, Founder Director & CEO and Gautam Suri, Founder Director & CTO of Interarch have together built the organisation, from a two employee company to a company with over 2000 people; spread across India with manufacturing facilities in Noida, Uttarakhand and Chennai.
(Communication by the management of the company)