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PEBs are changing the quickness of construction

In today’s fast paced lifestyle, people are looking at fast turnaround and speedy construction. PEB is the solution

Pre-engineered buildings, PEB, Everest Industries, Kirby Building Solutions, D Raju, S Krishnakumar, Pragun Khaitan, Jindal Aluminium

PEB structures are increasingly common in India. Mostly factories and commercial establishments, but they are gaining popularity. Little surprise that Indian manufacturers are on their toes to improve their offerings and ensuring affordability to consumers.

The main strength of the PEB unit is its design capabilities advantage in terms of reduced cost of buildings, faster execution and design. Manufacturers offer pre-painted steel structure, thus saving time in erection, come with better corrosion resistance and is a factory-finished product. There is also the adherence to highest performance in safety, quality and ethics through application of innovative technology in practical ways.

D Raju, MD, Kirby Building Systems & Structures India, says, “Steel forms a major component of any PEB and is the only key raw material for any type of steel building. Steel is definitely going to see an increase in the acceptability as one of the key building material apart from the existing other building materials as steel has got many distinct properties and has an edge when compared to other building materials. Also, with increasing urbanisation and rapid increase in construction activity across the country, there is enough space for steel to create its own identity as the most important building material and co-exist and work towards developing sustainable construction either in the form of individual form or in composite form.”

D Raju.

Steel is versatile in nature, tensile, highly durable, recyclable, scrap value and can withstand external pressures such as earthquakes when used in the form of a building. It has a high strength to weight ratio which means it has high strength per unit mass. So no matter how large the overall structure is, the steel sections are stronger than other building materials and has a good load carrying capacity. Steel can be easily fabricated as it is flexible and can be moulded into any shape without changing its properties and also converted into sheets or other products as per the design. Steel sections can be produced off-site at shop floors and then assembled onsite using nut & bolt connections. This saves time and increases the efficiency of the overall construction process resulting in faster project completion.

S Krishnakumar, CEO, building solutions, Everest Industries, says, “The PEB technology or materials which the industry is currently using to make pre-engineered buildings are same as earlier. HR plates of various thickness are used to manufacture built-up sections and colour coated coils are used to create sheeting profiles.” 

S Krishnakumar.

Making a strong case for aluminium, Pragun Jindal Khaitan, MD, Jindal Aluminium, says, “Aluminium is changing the image of modern high-rise buildings today. We’ve seen this wonder metal increasingly being used in high rise buildings not just in the structures and façade but in the interiors as well. Aluminium increases the durability, strength and provides insulation properties thereby enhancing the energy efficiency of the high-rise buildings. This light-weight but strong metal is corrosion-resistant in addition to being non-toxic and durable with excellent design and coating capabilities, gives the building an aesthetic look to match any decor. It has been at the core of high-rise buildings in the form of aluminium facades, aluminium windows, domed roofs, heating systems, aluminium composite panels as well as structural components.” 

What’s changing
In the early 2000, warehouses were the initial driver for PEB but over the last two decades PEB has ventured into many other applications for different industry segments. In the current scenario, industrial structures and warehouses account for major chunk of PEB demand. Raju says, “Kirby India has grown manifolds over the last few years from simple box like buildings for warehouses to very complex industrial buildings to high rise structures. The company is now adapting new innovative methods across design, fabrication & construction which has widened their scope of operations.”

With the growth in logistics & ecommerce, there have been some changes in the construction methodologies. Warehousing buildings are changing from conventional to sustainable and efficient steel buildings. Developers and customers are increasingly conscious of the possibility of making the building energy efficient. Krishnakumar says, “Also, the dimension of the building for warehouses is becoming standard with features like a standard height of 14m, to a mezzanine space for offices in the buildings. Secondly, we feel people are looking at convenience and vendors who offer one-stop solutions. They don’t want multiple agencies to work in their buildings. We provide integrated and one-stop solutions to customers for building with solutions for steel buildings, solar panels, ready-made wall panel solutions and façade solutions for the aesthetic appeal of the building.”

Pragun Khaitan.

However, manufacturers know that this is a highly competitive market but any company which has aligned itself to the precise demands of this growing industry has an edge. The challenge here is to educate the builders and end users, the benefits of steel structures vis-a-vis conventional structures.
The industry has ventured into unknown territories which were never thought of thereby creating newer application areas for these type of structures which are highly customised and unique in nature. Kirby is leading the path through its new and innovative designs, systems & processes and construction techniques thereby making the industry well equipped to overcome all the limitations capable to handle any complex project across different industry segments. “With its rich experience and continuous learning at each and every stage of executing more than 20,000 diverse buildings for different industry segments across India over the last two decades has enabled us to evolve with new type of construction methodologies thereby completing the building in much faster and safer way and meeting the customer project timelines,” says Raju.

The growth of PEB is closely aligned with the India growth story. Within PEB, projects like airports, power plants, ports, metro stations, factories in automotive, and food processing are the upcoming sectors. “In the residential space, people have started to accept steel buildings for villas/structures/houses in hilly terrain and in remote locations, where it is difficult to transport machine & material or find labour locally,” says Krishnakumar.

Green material
India is a fast growing economy and a rapidly growing younger population is driving domestic consumption story leading to find ways of sustainable growth including construction. PEB is one of the choices when it comes to sustainable and eco-friendly construction. These building are also referred to as green buildings and has caught the attention of builders who are making inroads into these type of construction. Raju says, “Kirby India is in the forefront of this innovation and is leading the revolution of green construction in the country through its PEB technology. These buildings are cost-effective, energy-efficient and provide better quality environment. The use of skylights and solar panels mounted on rooftops of industrial buildings also meet daylight and captive power requirements which reduces the dependence on power supply from other sources. Effective usage of insulation material, louvers and other materials also help in temperature control and rain water harvesting.”

The Indian steel PEB sector, with the present importance being given to factors like safety, standardisation and skill development is on its own fast-track path to achieve new heights on the construction technology timeline profile.

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August 2019
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