Projects Info |
   
Advertise Here [728 W x 90 H pixels]
Feature | December 2013

Pre-engineered for success

Emerging from their hiding places in concrete columns, pre-engineered steel structures (PEBs) are innovative solutions for construction projects across several sectors now. PROJECTS INFO discovers.  

The construction of houses and commercial buildings using precast, or prefab-concrete components offers significant convenience. Prefabricated construction offers multiple benefits savings on cost, time and labour, apart from consistent quality. However, based on the current slowdown in the Indian economy, the market for prefab structures and roofing is going through tough times. The technology is still nascent in India even though there are a few large projects happening in a few metro cities. But as per the view from the industry experts, the scenario is expected to get better soon.

 

New players from various parts of the globe are coming in and domestic developers are increasingly looking at prefabricated construction. Currently, the market size for roofing in India, annually, is around 10-12 million sq m. In fact, the Indian market has witnessed a major shift from asbestos and galvanised steel sheets to Zn-Al coated sheets. Asbestos consist of carcinogenic material, has low strength and cracks easily. Also, increased corporate and public awareness about climate change has resulted in new initiatives such as green building concept and elimination of carcinogenic materials. Moreover, Zn-Al coated sheet provides excellent atmospheric resistance in a wide range of environment under many diverse conditions. The total market size of steel roofing industry is approximately one mt. According to Gautam Suri, Founder Director & CTO, Interarch Building Products, "Overall, the economic and construction slowdown has a lot of effects on all the products, since they are linked towards new construction. But, the market is huge for this industry in coming years."

 

On the other hand, the prefab market is emerging as a strong alternative to conventional concrete construction methods. PEB in India is validated by the 33 per cent market share of PEBs in the construction industry. While this figure is lower than developed countries, it marks India's growing global market share at 9.5 per cent a step ahead of China's 8.5 per cent. Thus, the prefab market is yet to reach the extent of 60-70 per cent, which is not so much into competition on larger scale.

 

According to the industry experts, in the coming years, the demand for pre-engineered buildings (PEB) is expected to grow at around 10 per cent to 15 per cent per year. Generally, steel structures and specifically PEBs market have, on the domestic front, surpassed the GDP from both the Indian steel industry and the Indian construction sector. Over the next 2-3 years, the industry is optimistic about a 15 to 20 per cent annual growth, resulting in doubling of the market over five years.

 

Demand and opportunities
 India and China are expected to record the fastest growth in demand for roofing and facades due to the growing population and urbanisation on one hand, and improved standard of living on the other. Thus, there is a rising demand for housing, warehouses, railway stations, factory buildings, airport terminals, hangars, inland container depots, logistics parks, special economic zones, export processing zones, etc. Therefore, the demand for roofing in India is expected to witness even a much better growth with the emerging concept of PEBs.

 

Speaking about the rising demand, Sunil Gopinath, Country Manager and Business Development, Avant Enterprises, said, "We have plans to introduce around three range of roofing in a phased manner into the market including industrial roofing, domestic roofing and luxury roofing."

 

Also, the Government of India has set a goal to make housing available for all its citizens. Among the logistics of this effort is an ambitious new construction initiative. India is also planning to accomplish this task through a prefabrication surge in order to build 3-4 level multi-family structures. Thus, prefabrication will continue to grow in India as the demand for fast affordable housing increases. However, structural steel is the default material used for construction of plant superstructure within the industry segment, and the steel industry is a key demand driver within the industrial segment. Oil & gas, petrochem, cement, fertilizers, etc. are amongst the other industries responsible to drive demand within this segment. With the huge investment and capacity addition into the new power plants and transmission towers, the structural steel remains the default material within this segment. Also, the structural steel is selectively used in construction of high-rise buildings with approximately 3-4 projects using steel/composite structures coming up annually in India, mainly in the metropolitan cities.

 

Steel prices effect
 Steel is one of the popularly used raw materials to come up with innovative prefab structures and roofing. In fact, steel has a benefit to consider its level of sustainability.

 

It is ideally used with many sustainable designs as it complies with specifications of efficient building envelopes. In addition, steel produces minimal site wastes as it allows for precise on-site construction. The role of steel is not limited to its structural components as prefabricated exterior wall, but even the roof panels are being manufactured with steel. Thus, the rising steel prices have a lot of effect on the prefab and roofing segment. According to the World Steel Association (WSA), the local steel demand in India would increase by 5.9 per cent and 7 per cent in 2013 and 2014 respectively. This year, the steel prices are not likely to improve much due to surging imports, a report by Citi Research said. With the surge in imports into India, Indian producers have been pricing steel in line at a discount to import parity price. Going forward, steel prices in India can rise about 3 per cent, wherein the demand is also projected to rise to 200 mt by 2015. The steel production capacity in India is expected to touch 275 mt by 2020.

 

Conclusion
 With the lot of advantages and few challenges, the overall per capita consumption of structural steel, PEBs and roofing in India over the next 10 years has a potential to look even more attractive. However, efforts are needed to be taken to create more awareness on the use of prefab structures and advanced roofing into various construction projects. Also, strong internal demand and more emphasis on developing infrastructure are expected, which will then remain the core prefab and roofing growth story in future.

 

Prefab players

 
     
  • Tata BlueScope Building Solutions
  •  
  • Interarch Building Products Pvt Ltd
  •  
  • Satec Envir Engineering (I)Pvt Ltd
  •  
  • Lloyd Insulations (India) limited
  •  
  • NCL Group
  •  
  • Simplex Prefab Infrastructure (India) Pvt Ltd
  •  
  • Hindustan Prefab Limited (HPL)
  •  
  • Octamec Group
 

Challenges

 
     
  • Technical capability of architects/structural
  •  
  • Consultants to design steel buildings
  •  
  • Availability of requisite sections
  •  
  • Cost effectiveness
  •  
  • Lack of skilled labour force for installation and maintenance
  •  
  • Presence of unorganised players offering products at low prices
  •  
  • Huge transportation costs
  •  
  • Indian codes still need to be developed
  •  
  • Lack of awareness
  •  
  • Low product quality
  •  
  •  Lack of safety awareness

Post your comment
Name:  
Email:    
Comments:  
Verification Code:   Change Image


 
Advertise Here [728 W x 90 H pixels]