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One of the most rapidly growing companies in India, The Earth Group of Companies – run by Bhupesh Babulal Jain and his son Piyush Bhupesh Jain – has projects spanning across Maharashtra, Gujarat, New Delhi, and Myanmar. Honorary members of the Indian Green Building Council – Bhupesh and Piyush have 30 and 8 years of experience respectively. Bhupesh is also associated with PEATA (Practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planners Association) and is a strong promoter of Sustainable Developments and Structural Steel Buildings in India. He is also the Joint Secretary of MSCI Club Mumbai.

Chosen to Design the Classic
Mumbai-based Access Architects were thoughtfully taken on board by the Earth Group to design their classical residential building in Matunga – one of the densely populated, yet, regal places of the Mumbai city. Access Architects, established by Architect Atul Shah in 1981, is one of the leading architectural firms in India with over 400 projects to their credit. Their intrinsic understanding of local culture, aesthetic and planning sensibilities fused with knowledge of the latest technologies and trends, make them one of the forerunners in the industry today. With the second-generation architects – Jay Shah and Anuj Shah fusing their international exposure with the company’s core values – Access’ clientele includes leading real estate developers and Fortune 500 companies.

Right from conceptualization to execution, Access Architects had to ensure that all the bye-laws have been accounted for during the construction. Being a steel building, all the coordination with consultants and planning the sequence of execution was necessary before hand. Thus, they had to generate construction documents with necessarily detailing well in advance. They also made it a point to have regular inspections, check on progress, and ensure the smooth execution of the project.

Located in Central Mumbai, the cost of rehousing the existing tenants in a nearby location was high and caused inconvenience to the client as well as the tenants. Keeping that in mind, we proposed steel construction which was quicker and more efficient. Since fast tracking the construction without compromising on the quality was the major requirement of the client, this proposal was happily accepted. Other benefits like steel construction being quieter, and thus, not affecting the neighbourhood peace too much and being recyclable added to its advantages. Using steel, we were able to detail the project better and take advantage of its non-shrinking and non-creeping-at-ambient-temperature nature. With steel, form-work was not needed, uniform quality could be achieved and transportation and handling was economical. Steel being one of the most sustainable construction materials currently, its strength and durability coupled with its ability to be recycled, again and again, without ever losing quality make it truly compatible with long term sustainable development. I totally recommend it, provided you have the skill and expertise to implement it well.

JAY SHAH, Director, Access Architects


The Classical Features
Earth Classic is a residential tower designed on the lines of a 16th century Roman Classical building, built using modern day building technologies. Adding a touch of royalty to the skyline of Matunga in Mumbai, the project keeps the comfort of the end user in mind, with high-end amenities and services incorporated in it. With 30 residences spread across its 7 floors, it has a basement that can be used for car wash and recreation, and a terrace is designed for community interaction with ample seating and a few patches of green. The steel frame structure used to build the building helped reduce the time spent on erecting the structure and the load on the foundation.

Since this project was a redevelopment of the Kishore Mansion Building located in the congested area of Matunga, and the tenants of the building were provided temporary accommodation at the developer’s cost, it was important to build the new building soon. Using steel, reduced the time of construction and caused minimal disturbance to the neighbourhood. Moreover, it saved cost by using less manpower on site, lesser vehicle movement, and resulted in zero accidents.

Steel helped in optimizing speed of construction, floor area (due to smaller column sizes) and floor height. Steel is also a lightweight construction system which minimizes loads on the foundation, and therefore, saves on sub-structure costs, which can be important for building extensions.

Overcoming the Challenges with Class
This site was a challenging one for construction. Surrounded by existing buildings on three sides, it is connected by a small access road from the main road. A 100 MT compact telescopic mobile crane was placed on site, which added to the challenges, since there wasn’t enough space to place the outriggers. This issue was resolved by placing the crane in a phased manner. It was located partially on ground and partially above the basement using a steel trestle to support the outriggers of the crane. Once that was done, the crane was moved to the road to complete the balance construction.
Besides this, the other challenges included the lack of enough area for material stacking at the site and restriction of the trailer movement during the day, as the site is located in a busy area. To resolve this, logistics for the material had to be planned meticulously with only two loads of material kept on site at a time.

Making of the Frame – A Class Apart

Diagonal braces in personal and car lift were used as the primary lateral load resisting system. The composite beams and columns were used as the gravity load resisting system. The structural steel enabled the 4m cantilevered sections, the principle architectural feature of the redevelopment to be realized. The cantilevered sections consist of a storey-high N type truss with 500mm built-up beams and composite columns of 300 x 600 mm.

The maximum beam depth was restricted to 450mm at other locations using a combination of built-up and hot rolled I sections. JSW SMD’s patented 2-hour fire rated TR80 0.9mm deck was used to achieve spans up to 4m. Beams were placed along the partition walls to avoid the beam visibility/drop inside the rooms. Columns and bracings were encased in concrete to provide fire protection. Vermiculite fireproofing method was used for beams. Modular factory assembled steel staircase were adopted to reduce site assembly time and ease of erection. The entire steel frame work was erected in a record six-week time with the highest safety standards.

Fact File
Function: Residential
Client: Earth Group of Companies
Architect: Access Architects
Steelwork Contractor: JSW Severfield Structures Ltd.
Steel Tonnage: 304 MT
Total Footprint: 38,000 sq. ft.
Status: Ongoing

Sustainable Features
Offsite Manufacturing
The offsite manufacturing of frames led to reduction in the construction programme as compared to a site with more on-site solutions. It also shortened the construction time and necessitated fewer onsite labourers, and reduced the number of deliveries and wastage on site.

Cantilevered Sections
The cantilevered sections allowed excellent use of space, maximising the available footprint whilst maintaining an open feel to the development.

Steel as a building material can be reused and recycled.


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