Interarch has grown beyond PEB and we specialise in pre-engineered steel construction. The usage of steel is only going to increase in India as it is now becoming the first choice for construction and infrastructure projects, says Gautam Suri, Director, Interarch Building Products Pvt Ltd.

What is the current market scenario of pre-engineered buildings in India?

The market scenario of Pre-engineered Buildings (PEBs) in India has generally been quite good. Warehousing, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and the process building industries have a lot of work and are progressing well. The small and medium industry has been affected due to the Covid-19 crisis but for the established players, the market situation is sound.

What are the advantages of PEB structures compared to conventional buildings? How does it improve timelines and cost efficiency?

When we talk about conventional buildings and PEBs, they are two different entities. The main difference being conventional buildings are concrete-based structure and on the other hand, steel structures are fabricated at the site only. PEB structure is weatherproof as it offers external cladding for roofs and walls, thermally efficient and is also watertight and maintenance-free for years. 

Conventional steel buildings have taken a backseat because site fabrication is difficult to maintain any kind of quality. You also cannot maintain quality of material, quality of workmanship, and accommodating labour at the site is a challenge itself. The factors that work in favour of PEBs are that they are manufactured off-site, are ready to erect like a Meccano set. There is also substantial saving of wastage of steel which helps economically. As PEBs are erected at the site, there is no welding required and the process is faster.

Which are the key digital technologies involved in the PEB construction? How is technology evolving in the PEB segment?

There is no specific technology when it comes to PEB construction. Though, we do use software and apps for planning and designing structure. When you are using a large quantity of steel at the site, you can’t dump steel at the site, it has to be placed sequentially. Steel is erectable when it comes to the site, so you have to deliver and erect steel in a proper way. Software and apps help with the monitoring of data, getting updates from site engineers at the site, health updates and overall execution of the project. Preventive maintenance is an inherent feature of the steel structure.

As we are dealing with c, how is Interarch assessing its business plans?

We are trying to manage the situation to the best of our abilities as the second wave of coronavirus has been quite severe. We have tried to be proactive but still, people at our factory, office and site have been affected. The crucial factor is to vaccinate people and if medical aid is provided at the right time, then it’s quite beneficial. Otherwise, people will suffer due to a lack of knowledge and medical negligence. All of Interarch’s plants are working and we are in control of the situation despite the temporary setbacks. We faced a stoppage of oxygen supply in April at our plants as oxygen is quite crucial for manufacturing but hopefully, things will improve and we will be back on track.

How do you assess the PEB market outlook in the coming five years?  

Interarch has grown beyond PEB. Today, we are into pre-engineered construction which may or may not be a full building; it can be anything from tower structure, complex structure to high-rise building. We specialise in pre-engineered steel construction and we can deliver structures for any kind of steel applications. The usage of steel is only going to increase in India as other countries were using it for many years for construction. In India, there were issues regarding steel with respect to higher costs, pollution, labour etc. But steel is now becoming the first choice for construction and infrastructure projects. 

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