PEB: transforming building construction

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Benefits like cost efficiency, ROI, low carbon emission, etc., have contributed to increasing popularity of the construction technology.

Pre-engineered buildings (PEBs) or prefabricated structure is a better fit for the metro rail space owing to factory controlled quality, ready-to-construct bolted structure, cost effective, faster ROI, lesser reliance on labour, flexibility in design, green building compliance, low carbon emission, among other benefits.

According to experts, PEB market in India will witness staggering growth with CAGR of over 16 per cent over the forecast period. Steel can be recycled without losing its engineering properties making PEB technology one of the most preferred and sustainable construction methods. The system emancipates the use of the skylights and solar panels on rooftops to meet the daylight and captive power requirements. So, they reduce emissions and gain carbon credits unlike the conventional methods for powering these buildings.

Overview
Anil Singh Baghel, Head S&M, Phenix Construction Technologies, says, “PEB technology took a baby step in 1995 when (DMRC) conceptualised MRTS and decided to speed up the implementation on war footing level for which it was decided to construct utility buildings like workshop, stabling shed, inspection bay, pit wheel, etc. in steel. It was also decided to construct selected few stations in steel owing to its inherent feature of faster and qualitative construction with quick turnaround.”

He adds, “From 1995 PEB as a construction technology found a more acceptable mode of construction for metro mostly for utility buildings, projects at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Chennai, Lucknow, Nagpur and Ahmedabad witnessed the usage of PEB technology.”

The planning commission’s proposal for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for urban transport has recommended that all Indian cities with a population in excess of 2 million start planning rail transit projects, thus the metro is being considered by 20 cities in India as a techno-commercially worthy MRTS means.

Latest innovations
M/s Phenix Construction Technologies which started its manufacturing in 2008 debuted in MRTS segment in 2009 undertaking prestigious utility buildings wheel lathe shed, paint booth and loco shed, CMV (Engg Track Siding) and auto washing and plant shed for Delhi Metro Airport Express Pvt Ltd, Delhi and heavy cleaning track shed, inspection workshop, stabling yard and under floor wheel lathe building for Mumbai metro. The neo and welcome change has been the usage of standing seam roof cover in lieu of screw down cladding which offer longevity and technical superiority in terms of leak proof solution.

M/s Phenix Construction Technologies also undertook design, manufacturing and construction of Andheri Station and Goregaon Station.

It is currently on the verge of completion of stabling shed (six tracks, 12 tracks and internal cleaning), inspection bay, workshop and pit wheel building and car parking shed for apparel park depot of MEGA at Ahmedabad.

In its intent to give start-to -end full proof solution, it has adopted the latest technology and uses latest analytical and modelling softwares namely STAAD Pro V8i select series 6-Version 20.07.11.90.

Baghel says, “We do almost cent per cent modelling in Tekla version year 2017 to have flawless engineering output a platform that integrates all the important activities, namely detailing, connections, shop drawings and construction drawings. We possess 25 Tekla software to cater to this demand.”

Automobile and OEM, pharmaceuticals, consumer durables and construction are the fastest growing segments in our economy and are diverse in the engineering challenges.

The company have designed C line (Press Weld and Paint shop), TDS battery plant for auto major M/s Suzuki Motors Ltd, Gujarat which encompasses not only complexity but has to be engineered construction friendly for brisk execution.

The requirement entails huge collateral loads coupled with hanging utility support structure all across the periphery with mezannines carrying loads as high as 15KN/M2 and is non symmetrical.

Box columns were conceived to cater to space constraint and accommodate enormous loads by means of welding four plates with fillet weld and by welding two C sections with fillet weld.

Also, hybrid structures were employed by means of judicious combination of plate and HR section for trusses.

Baghel says, “We have designed clear span as wide as 90 m for M/s Shree Cements, M/s Thyssen Krupp and 85 m for BORL Bina and 85m for M/s Renuka Sugar which is 39-degree sloped apart and is an alternative to the silo for processing white sugar godown.”

He adds, “We have engineered multi-storeyed buildings like Sterling Hospital G+8, Intex G+2, Satkaival G+2.”

Retractable modular roof for ship building facility at Kolkatta for GRSE wherein it had a 650 MT Goliathe deployed to transport ship components wherein roof would retrack back and forth during operations.
Major challenge in offering steel structure solutions for metro-stations
• Planning and timely implementation of MRTS (Rail) in the existing set up which has existing saturated bus and local train as transportation mode and experiences congested traffic.
• In construction, carrying out work on congested roads without causing inconvenience to the general public is a major challenge.
• To make MRTS efficient and effective, it calls for amalgamation with efficient mode of transportation for connecting the metro stations with various nooks and corner of the city for wider reach.
• With 539 km constructed MRTS facility and another 319 km under implementation, India is already boasts of world’s fourth largest metro rail network but needs another 1,100km in next five years which calls for huge cash outlay of Rs. 1.85 lakh crore which is going to soar and calls for technological innovative solution.
• Checks and balances of formal procedures need to be put in place to validate the technological advancements, currently higher grade steel Ys 450 MPA is confined to structural steel and is yet to gain wide acceptance in larger applications as an optimal resource. This shall also call for upgrading in manufacturing facility.

Gathering momentum
Steel is a major input for Pre-engineered buildings. The PEB segment is picking up momentum very fast in country in various construction projects, with the concept of minimising large scale construction or on-site erection activities and majorly reducing the time required to erect a structure. M.C Agrawal, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs Divison, Steel Authority of India says, “PEB majorly requires steel plates including normal and high-tensile variety and structurals.”

He adds, “SAIL is a major supplier of steel for PEB players. Our new plate mill and structural mills are fully equipped to supply the required quality of plates and structurals including WPB and NPBs.”

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