Interarch Building Products Pvt Ltd commenced its operations in 1984, and pioneered the high-end metal interior products market in India. Interarch has been the first mover in India, right from metal ceilings, to blinds, metal roofing to pre-engineered buildings. Today, Interarch is a leading turnkey Pre-Engineered Steel Construction Solution provider in India with integrated facilities for design, manufacture, logistics, and supply and project execution capabilities for pre-engineered steel buildings.
Gautam Suri, Founder Director – Interarch Building Products speaks to Sandeep Menezes about the current and evolving scenario across the PEB industry in India.
Excerpts from the interview:
With the new government taking over the nation’s reign and putting huge focus on infrastructure development, how much growth do you foresee across the PEB industry?
PEB industry has been growing at a significant pace since many years; with new government in power we foresee the growth at a healthy pace of over 10 per cent year on year. Once the economy comes back on track and all infrastructure projects in pipeline will be cleared.
India is a cost sensitive market and the initial higher cost barrier is one of the reasons for lower uptake of PEB technology. Going forward, do you feel PEB construction could be made more affordable?
We don’t agree with this fully that initial cost are higher in PEB, it depends on how a company designs and engineer the building. We have seen many examples where a RCC building is much costlier than a pre-engineered steel building.
Also there are certain functional requirements of manufacturing like a large clear span building up to 100 M or a multi-level building with high loads or multistory buildings above 24 floors which will be more economical in Steel as compared to RCC. The biggest advantage is the time benefit which you get while making in steel building; you save almost 30 per cent time and start earning early.
Lack of awareness vis-à-vis convention building materials has led to PEB industry not growing to its optimum potential. Comment.
Since the inception of the PEB technology in India in early 2000, we faced a lot of problems in terms of selling this concept but due to its undivided benefits and advantages like clear span up-to 100 m, clear height up-to 40 M, early occupancy, earth quake proof and fire resistant, low maintenance cost than RCC people have started preferring PEB nowadays.
The penetration of PEB is still lower than RCC many new industries are not yet explored by the marketers, recently we have explored some new industries like steel, power, cement and are getting very good response in terms of orders and we are very hopeful that in future we will see all major construction happening in PEB only.
India had a shortage of 18.8 million urban housing units with rural housing estimated to be much higher. Do you feel PEB can emerge as a preferred mass market low cost housing option?
Yes we will feel the change will come to Indian market but it will take some time to change the perception of the Indian consumer who is still more inclined towards RCC houses.
In terms of safety and eco-friendly features, how does PEB compare with convention building materials?
Our buildings made from Steel are Green as the design and construction material used significantly reduces or eliminates the negative impact of buildings on the environment and its occupants
Our buildings are 100 per cent steel which is recyclable up to 90 per cent and also generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building. Our construction sites help in reducing the carbon footprint by reducing the solid waste and construction waste. We install more 2-3 per cent natural lights/skylights in the building which reduces the need of artificial lights inside the building and saves electricity.
At Interarch, our buildings are not just eco-friendly, maintenance free in the long run it enables your projects to achieve higher LEED and IGBC ratings which provides a certification for your project.
What is Interarch’s long term business strategy in the PEB segment?
We are quite upbeat about the growth of construction sector in the coming year. Stemming from the Pre-engineered buildings industry, what is taking shape is the new Heavy Engineering and larger Infrastructure projects which is the next in line for the infrastructural development of the country. Projects like Airports, International terminals, power plants, ports etc. require heavy steel structures and a different approach in comparison to Pre-engineered buildings. We see a wave which is likely to become a trend soon, from here on, in the Infrastructure division.
We are confident just how the past decade we have seen a significant shift of industrial construction to wards pre-engineered construction, the same shift will happen for Infra and commercial projects in future
Tell us about some recent PEB projects executed by Interarch?
We have recently executed Gd+5 multistory building for Hindustan Unilever limited at 2 locations; we have done a green field expansion for JCB India and a car manufacturing facility for Honda Cars India in Rajasthan. A green field expansion for Yamaha Motors India Pvt ltd in Tamil Nadu and a 100 M clear span building for Ultratech Cement in Raipur and a hospital building for Fortis Hospital.