“It was my first project as a civil engineer. We were to pitch a big brand for its new factories in Zambia. My suggestion for using PEB buildings instead of traditional concrete structures helped us win the mandate. That was the best start I could hope for. What made us win wasn’t just PEBs but the benefits they promised. After all it was the ‘90s that we are talking about”, recalls Mayur Roy, a civil engineer owning a private construction company now. Pre-engineered buildings (PEBs), haven’t just reshaped the construction scenario but also careers as is evident. The advantages are many which have led to a flourish for pre-engineered building manufacturers.
Lower foundation load
The foundation cost of any structure depends on load and bay spacing. In traditional RCC (reinforced cement concrete) construction, the load is heavier. It therefore demands a stronger foundation for support, resulting in higher costs. In PEBs not only is the load less but can also be divided sectional, which lowers the costs considerably. Plus, there are lesser columns involved and wider spans due to efficient calculations. This allows for more free space. It is estimated that one can save up to 23% in construction costs through PEBs.
Ease & Versatility
PEBs are extremely versatile on multiple parameters: assembly, reusability, customizability, etc. Both assembling and dismantling are fast and easy with nut and bolt systems. Plus, you can transport it from one location to another without abandoning it on the previous location. Also, being pre-fabricated, these can be customized exactly as per the space, weather, resistance and geographical conditions.
In traditional concrete construction not much raw material can be recovered for reuse. In contrast, the end-of-life recycling value of PEBs is amazing. Steel is the most recycled material on the planet. What is more, steel doesn’t lose its properties during the recycling process either.
High speed construction
We don’t wish to exaggerate but erecting PEBs and the spell ‘wingardium leviosa’ are almost alike. While it takes several months and even years to bring a concrete building to life, pre-engineered building structures can be constructed within days. Just 48 hours for a 10-storey building is today a real possibility. At the least PEBs are 30-40% faster to build than masonry construction including end-to-end processes.
Get what you expect
Traditional construction often doesn’t give us what we expect. The blueprint and the actuality differ. Whenever things get changed, there are either extra rupees to spend or an output which clearly appears ‘re-done’. This doesn’t happen with pre-engineered structures. Since they’re made off-site under controlled manufacturing conditions, it is exactly as expected. You can construct any structure out of PEBs — a home or a factory, a car shade or an airport hangar, an animal shelter or a stadium, and much more. Now they are finding place in residential plots as well!
Assured quality standards
Whether you want fire-resistance or anti-corrosion from certain chemicals in a factory environment, precise customizations are possible. PEBs are made in adherence to national and international standards with proper R&D teams behind the manufacturing process. This automatically assures unfailing quality and precision.
Low cost-escalation risk
Gone are the days when construction was costly. The cost efficiency of PEBs is one of the biggest highlights. Unlike RCC structures, the costs won’t go for a toss as the project progresses. Costs come in ‘prefixed’ mode. Also, the best PEB structure manufacturers ensure delivery on time. This is a very big advantage for industrial and commercial players for whom construction delays can be expensive. What’s more? There’s no need to run and take approvals from the bosses every time there’s an addition in the budgeted expense. With growing demand for PEBs in the public and the private sectors, the pre-engineered building manufacturers are seeing a surge of demand in developing nations – even places where they were unheard and unseen a few years back. While developed countries continue to expand their PEB base across all possible avenues, the developing nations aren’t far behind. The PEB market is projected to grow up to USD 25 billion by 2024 from USD 14.5 billion in 2019 at a CAGR of 11.5%. This only indicates the promising future of PEBs over RCCs due to the cost effectiveness.