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Is Steel construction the future? Exploring consumer trends and preferences

Steel is paving the future of modern construction in India

Published: Mar 29, 2024 11:10:11 AM IST
Updated: Mar 29, 2024 04:03:33 PM IST

Is Steel construction the future? Exploring consumer trends and preferences

The construction industry is witnessing a noteworthy move towards steel as the favoured material over traditional concrete. India’s steel consumption in FY23 is 120 MnT. It is expected that Indian structural steel tube market will increase from 4.2 MnT to 16 MnT by 2030.

This shift towards steel is not merely a passing fad but rather a reflection of developing consumer inclinations and the integral advantages that steel construction offers. APL Apollo, a leading player in the steel tubing industry commanding a 55% market share, is at the forefront of this transformation, offering innovative solutions tailored to meet the changing requirements of users. It is evident that steel construction is not only gaining momentum but also reshaping the way we approach construction projects.

Customer Preference: Why Steel?

One of the primary reasons driving consumers towards steel construction is its inherent strength and durability. Steel structures boast a high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for lighter and better designs without compromising on structural integrity. This durability translates into longevity, as steel structures are less susceptible to wear and tear, corrosion, and environmental factors compared to concrete.

Moreover, steel construction offers greater design flexibility and versatility. With advancements in technology and fabrication techniques, steel can be moulded and shaped into virtually any form, enabling architects and builders to unleash their creativity and realise prolific designs. This flexibility extends to construction timelines, as steel structures can be erected more quickly and competently, leading to cost savings and reduced project timelines.

Another important factor driving the preference for steel construction is sustainability. Unlike concrete, which relies heavily on cement production—a process associated with high carbon emissions—steel is a highly recyclable material. The recyclability of steel not only reduces the environmental footprint but also aligns with growing consumer demand for eco-friendly building practices. APL Apollo maintains a comprehensive ESG alignment. In 2023, the company's energy consumption from renewable sources reached 37%, and they have set a target to achieve a 47% renewable energy consumption rate by the year 2024-25. Going above and beyond, the company has undertaken climate-related risk analysis in adherence to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guidelines. By 2030, we aim to reduce Scope 1 & 2 emissions per metric ton of steel produced by 25%, against a 2022 base year.

Hassle-free Construction

Beyond its structural and environmental benefits, steel construction offers practical advantages that make it a hassle-free and productive process. One such advantage is pre-engineering. The pre-engineered buildings market was estimated at US$ 14.5 billion in 2019 and is projected to register a CAGR of 11.5% between 2019 and 2024. Steel components can be fabricated off-site under controlled conditions, reducing on-site construction time and minimising disruptions to surrounding areas. This prefabrication also enhances quality control, ensuring consistency and precision in every component.

Besides, steel's inherent properties make it conducive to modern construction techniques such as modular construction. Modular steel components can be prefabricated off-site and assembled on-site like building blocks, streamlining the construction process and enhancing efficacy. This approach not only accelerates project delivery but also allows for greater customisation and adaptability to changing needs.

As penchants of end-users continue to evolve and sustainability becomes increasingly focal, steel construction is poised to emerge as the construction material of choice for the future. It will act as a catalyst, pushing novelty and progress within the constantly varying construction segment.

The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.

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