The Use of Steel as a Construction Material
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?
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% 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. This amounts to one of the reasons in the cost disparity. Concrete requires no additional treatments to meet stringent fire codes and performs well during both natural and man-made disasters. While India is a price-sensitive market where the cost determines the choice of material, that is not the key reason dictating the use of concrete over steel in our construction industry. 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, USA, 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.
**Excerpts from Straight Talk by Reza Kabul featured in June 2017 Edition of Steel Structures & Metal Buildings.