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Case Study Pre-engineered Tower

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India in its drive for a massive infrastructure upgrade has seen some major changes over the past few years with respect to the adoption of global practices. In the current era of globalization, speed is the essence for meeting tight and demanding deadlines to complete the quality project on schedule, concurs veteran Architect Jagdish. B. Karamchandani of K & Associates.

The concept of pre-engineered and pre-cast construction is a common technology in Europe and other countries, where the structural components are standardised and produced & fabricated in plants, away from the construction site and then transported to the site for assembly. These components are manufactured by industrial methods, based on mass production in a short time. The construction technique offers the most innovative and quicker method of construction ensuring efficient, cost effective and speedy completion of project which is perhaps the growing demand of today. India too is facing a scarcity of skilled labour and quality finishers and therefore these technologies are advantageous for the country’s construction industry.

The Project

Jindal Steel and power Limited (JSPL) is coming up with mega steel and power plants at Angul, Odisha and the construction is in full swing. The success of the integrated plant lies on its infrastructure development, facilities and built environment and to complete the construction of the same on schedule, tremendous manpower is required. In addition, there was a massive housing demand generated for the company staff and workers. Achieving all these requirements was not feasible by traditional method of construction in such a remote area, where the scarcity of skilled labour persists. The pre-engineered steel structure concept was adopted along with various other technologies for other elements.

Pre engineering building system is leading the way in the green revolution, as these are environment friendly. Likewise, steel has become a universal building product, due to its strength, versatility, durability and economic value. India being a developed country, massive building construction activities are taking place in various parts of the country for which pre-engineering concept is an ideal technology. The steel structure sector too is growing at a rapid pace due to the accelerating demand for high rise towers.

The Planning

The integrated steel and power plant on 4000 acres of land has around 300 acres earmarked for housing its staff, guests, trainees, students and workers. The layout plan has been envisaged to have low and high rise towers and villas for senior officials. The housing has been clustered around lush green parks and playful areas, supported by an integrated infrastructure development and amenities like schools, shopping arcades, health care centre/ hospitals, recreation club and sports facilities designed to international standards.

The 12-storied Tower

Architecturally a simple, sleek rectangle building block has been conceived to look elegant and bold. The 12 storied, Ground + 11 floors tower, consists of eight dwelling units on each floor. The block has been designed for 2BHK and 3BHK units with a tentative covered area of 700sqft and 1200sqft respectively. The blocks are integrated with each other and placed in cluster. An impressive sculpted urban form has been achieved which provides free flow of air and gives feel of belongingness for each unit. Nestled in between this integrated cluster of residential block is a huge landscaped green area. Further the green areas were envisaged as diversified activity spaces such as safe play area for children.

The Innovations

This is for the first time that a 12 storied residential tower was erected with a pre- engineered steel structure and other new technologies. The floor has been casted with a speedfloor, a unique suspended concrete flooring system using a roll formed steel joist as an integral part of the final concrete and steel composite floor. The speedfloor is lighter, easier and faster solution for the construction of multi-storied and for long spans structures. The speedfloor composite floor system avoids the vertical props, which gives ample space to carry out other construction activities. Similarly, the wall panels consist of Polystyrene sandwiched between two mats of welded wire mesh with connectors in between the mats. The size of wire mesh and thickness and shape of Polystyrene sheet panel shall be as per the requirement of structure design. These panels have excellent insulation properties, light in weight, easy to handle and convenient to transport to the remote areas. These wall panels have shot create plaster finish (mortar sprayed by machine), which increases the strength of the wall.

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