THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Move over, brick and mortar. It’s time for pre-fabricated steel structures to enter the state’s construction sector. Over the next six to nine months, beneficiaries of the government’s housing project for the homeless, being implemented by LIFE Mission, will move into pre-fab apartments.
In the wake of the recent flood and landslides aggravated by indiscriminate quarrying, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had declared the government’s resolve to promote construction using pre-fabricated structures.
Now, the government has walked the talk by reducing dependence on quarry products for its own projects.
According to LIFE Mission officials, six pre-fabricated construction models used worldwide were considered by its technical committee for its light housing project. Of these, the ‘Light gauge steel structural system’ and ‘Pre-engineered steel structural system’ were found to be ideal for the pilot ‘LIFE Tower complexes’ project.
While apartments of LIFE Mission of up to four floors using pre-fab technology are expected to be completed in six months, the seven-storey LIFE towers at Alappuzha are expected to be completed in nine months.
“The traditional construction with brick and mortar and RCC beam-column is slow with time and cost overruns, high labour costs and energy intensity. It also depletes natural resources. On the other hand, LIFE Mission pre-fab construction focuses on sustainability, speed and safety without compromising on structural performance,” said LIFE Mission coordinator Cheriyan Philip.
The weight of pre-fab structures is one-fourth of the traditional brick and mortar construction. Besides the absence of heavy foundation, the steel used is recyclable. LIFE Tower apartments of up to four floors will be ‘Light gauge steel framed (LGSF) structures. They are fabricated with lightweight steel structural sections. For high-rises, a hybrid construction technique which combines ‘Pre-engineered building’ system in combination with LGSF construction will be used.
- In pre-fab construction, materials are lightweight and recyclable
- High construction quality as components are factory manufactured
- Materials used efficiently; manufacturing becomes more predictable
- Improves uniformity and replaces the unskilled labour process at site
THE ‘HYBRID’ PLAN
- Mix of pre-engineered building & light gauge steel frame (LGSF)
- Pre-engineered building uses hot-rolled steel for structural integrity
- LGSF technology to be used for all interior and exterior finishes
The weight of pre-fabricated structures is one-fourth of the traditional brick and mortar construction. Besides the absence of heavy foundation, the steel used is recyclable