It is estimated that in Europe, UK, US and Japan the percentage of steel buildings is more than 60-70% whereas the percentage of India is less than 1 per cent. Why do you think is this huge gap?
“In India steel has not got its due as it deserves; such a versatile material like steel, has not been as frequently and extensively used by Indian construction industry, until recent times. India, unlike other western countries has a history of British Architecture, which meant major use of stone, concrete, lime and such materials. India is also a labour oriented country, while automation came in much later and at a very high cost. Until a few years ago, steel was being considered to be used only in industrial type of structures; not just was the steel very expensive, but also quality of product and resources available. Way back in 1980s I had used steel to a huge quantity for the development of the revolving restaurant above the existing Ambassador hotel, however it was an expensive affair.
It good to note that, today, the times have changed, India has come closer to the world and it realized that steel can be used in a variety of forms and means to create landmark structures- one can proudly mention today. That steel is being considered for every type of structure and in every form and finish. With good manufactures available and prices being competitive, I am currently designing various forms-Lets just say, as regards to use of steel in construction, India is catching up with other countries!”. PREM NATH, principal, Prem Nath Associates.
“it is common knowledge that the construction cost of steel is much higher that than of concrete. Though factors such as the height and scale of the project influence the cost, working with concrete is roughly 30 to 35 per cent cheaper than with steel. Steel can soften and melt with exposure to extremely high temperatures, and requires an addition of passive fire protection such as spray-on fireproofing
Recent tall structures across the globe such as the Burj khalifa, Shanghai tower, and Taipei 101 are concrete structures. When you compare the skyline of Europe, UK and japan to India, you notice that majority of their high-rises are commercial towers, while in the case of India they are residential towers. They are focused on shorter construction timelines which can be delivered in steel. Furthermore, our metropolitan cities which are home to high-rises are huge clusters, unlike that in other countries where the wind loads need to be considered as they are isolated structures among low laying ones. With the structural stability and integrity of reinforced concrete being same as steel, and the significant relief in cost, the Indian real estate industry finds concrete to be a viable construction material”. REZA KABUL,President,ARK Reza Kabul Architects.
“ A number of factors contribute to this gap in percentage of buildings built in steel detailing course in India. Labour in India is abundant and cheap as compared to the rest of the developed world. Aggregate is not expensive in India which is a big component in RCC construction. Steel buildings; on the other hand, require skilled workmen, which are not easily available in India. Steel prices also fluctuating depending upon various factors. The cost of building in steel is always perceived to be higher as India is a very price sensitive market. The western markets have a huge shortage of cheap labour, and hence economics work differently there. We have to also take into account that concrete is also an insulating material and suitable ti Indian weather conditions where the temperature variance is not as much as US and Europe”. YATIN PATEL, Principal,DSP Design Associates Pvt.Ltd.