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Construction has always been a boon in the development of the socio-economic growth of the country. Since the genesis of construction, new building materials have evolved and have added value to the design and construction. From the use of mud, clay thatch, brick to usage of steel, concrete, and glass in the construction of high-rise structures, building materials have been a convenient source in the evolution of construction.
Just like building materials, there is another insightful technique that has become a vital part of construction and has made the work of the architects and designers much easier. Prefabricated building materials are nowadays becoming very common in the construction industry as it is saving a lot of time and labor. There are many residences, construction warehouses etc, row houses, offices, etc. being built by the prefabricated technique.
What is Prefabricated Building Material?
Prefabricated building materials are a technique in which the building is manufactured off-site and then later on transported back to the location.The commonly used building materials are wood, steel, concrete, fiberglass etc.
The type of steel used in this type of construction is galvanized steel as it will safeguard the structure from rust and fire. Additionally, it gives the prefabricated construction a strong and protective coating. Steel is used to construct almost all of the building’s elements, including beams, frames, columns, walls, and roofing. Steel or aluminum frames are commonly used in prefabricated military structures.
Steel, wood, and fiberglass are prefabricated building materials used for small prefabricated buildings. Aluminum or plastic materials. These materials are less expensive than conventional brick and concrete structures. For sporting facilities, materials like steel, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum are employed as prefabricated building materials. These materials offer versatility and are favored for building stadium and gym structures and accessories like stands and seats.
Uses Of Prefabricated Building Materials
The prefabricated structures are used in evacuation houses, schools, row housing, detachable houses, high rise structures etc. Prefabricated structures have been refined over the period of 400 years of history. The Eiffel Tower, one of the 7 wonders of the world, is made with prefabricated tall iron which was assembled in 22 months.
The Caterpillar Apartment -Detroit (case study)
The Caterpillar is situated in Core City, a developing neighborhood a few kilometers outside of the city’s core. The Caterpillar was created by executive architect Firm Detroit and local studio Undecorated. It is situated in a “urban woods” with over 150 newly planted trees.
The eight apartments in the 9,000 square foot (836 square meter) building are all situated within an extended Quonset hut, a prefabricated, arched aluminium housing type that gained popularity in the US during World War II. The cottages are renowned for being simple and quick to construct.
Prince Concepts, a local real estate developer working with the city to develop over 100 abandoned properties in the neighborhood, is involved in a number of projects, including this one.
The US company SteelMaster created the Caterpillar’s cage, which is constructed partially of recycled steel. The crew installed glass doors, skylights, and several rectangular dormer windows to let in natural light. The loft-style residences, which are next to one another and measure 750 to 1,300 square feet (70 to 121 square meters).
The height of the space is 7m tall with approximately 18 windows each for each house. The placement of the house is planned is placed in such a way that it gives a sense of completeness and balance to the habitant who gets to see the sunrise from the bedroom and sunset in front of the living space. The interior of the house is kept minimal with white walls and concrete flooring. The center of the space has a service core that divides up the amenities. There is a kitchen, closet and bathroom apart from the living room and bedrooms.
The exterior has a staggered pattern of tress and native plants designed by sheet music. The walkway arranged in a row is made up of terrazzo tiles and a wooden deck as the platform creating it an earthy space and atmosphere.
Design and Construction Eiffel Tower
The structure was planned to build for the world fair of 1889w with a height of 300m.Initially the possibility of erecting cast iron was studied with a Qs base ,125 meters across and 300 meters tall. The plan was to designed like a small plyon with four column of lattice work girders with separate base at the bottom and coming together at the top. The tower was a bold projection of that era.
In order to make the tower more appealing and acceptable to the people,Nougier and Koechlin hired and architect Stephen Sauvester to work on the facade of the structure.
THE FIRST PROPOSAL BY SAUVESTER
Sauvester proposed the idea of having stone work on the pedestal, glass ball wall and bulb shape design for ornamentation. The explanation given by Eiffel for the structure was as follows: –
“All the cutting force of the wind passes into the interior of the leading-edge uprights. Lines drawn tangential to each upright with the point of each tangent at the same height, will always intersect at a second point, which is exactly the point through which passes the flow resultant from the action of the wind on that part of the tower support situated above the two points in question. Before coming together at the high pinnacle, the uprights appear to burst out of the ground, and in a way to be shaped by the action of the wind”.
After numerous discussions and probabilities, the construction of the structure was started in July 1887 and was completed within 2 months.
All the elements were manufactured in the Eiffel’s factory. The workers were hired by a team of constructors who had past experience for working in metal construction projects.
Record construction time
The theme duration taken to build the foundation was 5 months and 21 months to finish the assembly of the metal. The Eiffel reaches its marvel of honor especially considering the speed with which it was built.
During its construction phase, the tower received a lot of criticism. There was an article published in the newspaper with the name “The protest against the tower of monsieur Eiffel and it was initiated by a lot of influential names in the world of literature and art.
But once the tower was finished, the criticism turned into a complete masterpiece!
Hence in 1889 around 2 million people came to witness the beauty during the world fair.
Every structure had its own importance irrespective of the material. Prefabricated material has proved its significance over the decades. Like every other material, prefabricated material has its advantages and disadvantages.
It gives thermal insulation, improves quality, saves time, it helps in the safety of the Ages workers, environmental impact, constructability.
With advantages comes disadvantages as well; If the prefabricated components are not handled properly at the site, it can cause breakage and ultimately leading to the reconstruction of the entire component again.
Lack of skilled labor makes it difficult to connect the precast unit as it cannot be done by layman workers, requires erection equipment.
But considering the architectural wonders it has created, prefabricated structures are the future of the construction industry in the coming times!!