M3 Features

Kolkata gets first all-steel building

February 10, 2014

The city’s first steel building will open its doors in March. Being constructed by the Institute for Steel Development and Growth (INSDAG) at Anandapur, the four-storey structure uses 350 tonnes of steel as opposed to 150 tonnes in a normal building. Apart from the INSDAG centre, it will house offices of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. The only other steel building in the city is now under construction in Rajarhat.

The INSDAG building has a steel frame, apart from beams and columns that are made of steel as well. Being made of steel, the beams and columns of the INSDAG building will be more ductile, making it resistant to earthquake. “The building can survive a moderate-intensity earthquake without any damage. Even if it does, it will take much longer to suffer a substantial damage, allowing occupants enough time to vacate. The steel frame will stretch and prevent damage. So, it’s a safer building,” said Debashish Dutta, INSDAG assistant general manager who is the structural engineer for the building. It has taken less than 20 months to construct the building.

Since steel has a higher strength:weight ratio than concrete, the building’s load bearing capacity will be substantially higher than a concrete structure of its size. More importantly, the building has a higher column to column gap (7m to10m) that leaves it with far greater space. The INSDAG building will have a floor area of 30,0000 sq ft. While the basement will have an auditorium that can seat 150, the ground floor will have parking space and utility rooms. The first and second floors will house the INSDAG offices, while the two top floors will be occupied by Rashtriya Ispat.

“We will have at least 20% more space than a concrete structure. Also, we will have more beam-free areas since steel columns will be fewer. Finally, the building has an estimated life-span of 100-120 years against a concrete structure that survives 70 years on an average,” said Dutta.

Even though the cost of construction has been 6-8% higher,the building will have a much lower “life-cycle cost”. “Its maintenance and repair costs will be lower. If you couple that with the fact that it will survive longer, then it is cheaper by at least 15%,” said Dutta.

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