In India, structural steel has traditionally been fabricated on-site, mainly due to lack of infrastructure for transporting heavy sections from an off-site workshop to project site. Moreover, there is often insufficient space at a site to set up a fabrication workshop, while inexpensive skilled labor is at a premium. These issues can always be mitigated by pre-engineered buildings, which are fabricated in a workshop elsewhere.
Though the Indian model for the fabrication of structural steel differs from the model followed by developed countries, the trend is slowly but surely changing. India is now gradually moving away from onsite fabrication to workshop delivery models, which are proving to be more efficient in terms of quality and timelines. This helps to reduce the time and cost of execution, and is expected to fuel the demand for steel structures in India.
Structural steel is being selectively used in the construction of high-rise buildings, with three to four projects using steel or composite structures being built each year in India, mainly in metropolitan cities that are constrained by limited land availability. Concrete still remains the default construction material in the building segment in India, but industry reports suggest that the share of building segment is expected to increase overall demand for steel structures now that developers are beginning to recognize the benefits of structural steel.