Several advantages of PEBs make them a viable option for warehouses
With rapid progress of technology coupled with demand for several products in rather large quantities has led to the development of warehouses in the outskirts of cities in India. Also as trade assumes an increased importance in daily life, warehouses become even more important. In supply chain and logistics sector, stock keeping units are at places according to their availability and demand of the products that are manufactured. Today, several companies and trade associations share their warehousing space. Warehouses are important in places which have a high volume of trade which warehouses well serve this purpose. However, gone are the days of warehouses which faced several problems like leakage, temperature. Though many of these problems continue to exist, they have been addressed effectively. However, issues like cost of land, rising rentals, and several other issues continue to perturb the logistics sector. Unlike traditional brick and mortar constructions, PEB warehouses have several advantages and this is why they are being fastly adopted in the new warehouses. Also, the development of e-commerce in the country has led companies to have warehouses in the outskirts of cities where land is relatively cheaper and located at places that make them easily accessible from a logistics point of view.
Wide acceptance of PEBs in warehousing
PEBs have gained wide accpetance in warehouses and experts are drawing on this. Owing to their functional benefits and advantages PEBs are a choice that clients go with. Experts say that PEBs keep up with the times and this is a fact to reckon with.
Speaking on the transition in warehouse constructions D Raju, MD, Kirby Building Systems India, says “In earlier days, warehouses were built with traditional brick and mortar construction and then structural steel building with trusses and other types of sections made inroads in the warehousing construction. The advent of sustainable construction, PEB technology came into limelight in the warehousing segment. This has enabled PEB technology to become one of the preferred modes of construction for warehouses being set up across India. This erstwhile concept in India has now become a widely accepted solution with proven benefits for construction in the Indian environment. As eco friendly construction are fast catching up with the growth curve in the Indian market, PEB is the most viable construction solution as it is a green product and has very little impact on the environment. In current market scenario, more than 80 per cent of warehouses are being built with PEB which have taken over the conventional mode of construction in warehousing.”
Speaking of how PEB systems in warehousing is helping to complement trade Sanjay Loya, Executive Director, Loya Pre-engineered Buildings Pvt. Ltd shares some insightful points. Loya says, “Today PEB technology has become one of the most preferred modes of construction for warehouses being set up across India. This has given rise to various innovative PEB solutions for warehousing as well as creating enough scope for the present players to prove themselves.” In earlier days, warehouses were built with traditional brick and mortar construction and then structural steel with trusses and other types of sections made inroads in the warehousing construction. However, with the advent of sustainable construction, PEB technology came into limelight in the warehousing segment. The surge in warehousing demand is driven by favourable changes to trade and commercial policies. There is an increase in domestic consumption, as well as export activity. The customers demand greater efficiency which has resulted in organised retail emerging strongly. Logistics hubs and multi-modal facilities are replacing the small and scattered warehouses of the past. There is a shift from owned spaces to leased spaces. Flexibility to expand is an increasing requirement, as is environment control.
Anjan Dutta Roy, Vice President, Tiger Steel Engineering raises a very important point on what makes india a very important place for multinational companies when it comes to warehouses. He says,“The manner in which warehousing industries is being developed are going to be and will be very different from the past with a much larger role for public private partnership. India is being considered as most economical and effective hub for various multinationals, to store their products in order to cater to the need of the neighbouring countries. Major companies in logistics have already frozen typical graphical configuration of buildings and almost everyone is going ahead with metal buildings.”
Customisation of PEB in warehousing
Customisation of PEBs is a must as PEBs must be made to suit the storage requirements of the warehouse. Experts emphasise that warehouses vary according to the industries and the entire planning of the warehouse depends on this.
Mr Raju says, “Kirby’s warehouses buildings are customised to meet the unique demands of the customers. Kirby is a known name for PEBs in warehousing in the Indian market. This is owing to the unmatched speed of construction, quicker delivery, most optimised design, highest quality and commitment, excellent customer service, faster ROI, etc. Most of the warehouses are standard box type buildings with higher storage space because of no intermediate columns as the design and infrastructure for any warehouse depends on the storage requirements. There is also an entire process which goes into the planning of the construction of PEBs. Trends in technology along with innovations give impetus to the PEB technology in the warehousing segment.”
Speaking of the customisation of PEBs offered by Loya PEBs, Mr Loya adds,“The warehousing facility require customisation whenever it is called for. Customisation is led by factors like insulation, PUF panel walls and requirement fuelled by the demand for partition wall within the warehouse. Loya has supplied customised partitions to a few logistics companies.”
Speaking of value additions the PEBs have made to warehouses, Mahendra Pingle, Deputy General Manager, Market Development, Tata BlueScope Steel says, “Providing superior protection is not the only criteria when choosing a cladding material of your building. It must also perform in terms of energy efficiency, low maintenance and greater lifecycle saving and of course, you would want it to look good for many years to come.”
Mr Pingle adds, “Energy efficiency inside a building envelop may be attained in various ways. This includes the use of light coloured roofing materials to reduce solar heat gain. The building materials can also use low thermal mass materials that respond to temperature change comparatively quicker in contrast with high thermal mass materials that take longer to heat or cool. This makes it necessary to insulate the walls, ceilings, roofs and suspended floors. This calls for favourable orientation of the building and provision of exterior shading to control solar heating and wind flow. This is possible to achieve by using the Thermatech solar reflectance technology.”
PEB solutions offered by market players
Speaking of PEBS solutions in warehousing, Mr Raju says, “Warehouses are increasingly being built to address specific requirements of customers such as offering bare storage, storage with crane facilities, food storage, multi-level stacking, open storage, etc. Kirby India provides packaged solutions along with new concepts like rack supported warehouses based on the requirements. Kirby is provides end to end solutions in both PEB and Storage.”
Speaking of PEB warehousing in rural areas, Mr Raju also points out, “Penetration of PEB in rural areas is still miniscule where many agricultural warehouses exist in smaller sizes which use the local vendor for onsite fabrication mainly because of cost advantage. Kirby India provides very cost effective PEB solution for rural areas and is already making inroads.”
Mr Raju adds, “Kirby India provides solutions in cold storage warehousing which rely on temperature controlled environment for the storage of perishable foods and edibles that have short shelf life. A well maintained warehouse helps increase the life of the product. Most cold storage warehouses coming up across India can maintain various temperature levels at the same time for a variety of products stored. Kirby India also offers multi-level warehouses to parties owing to limitations like cost and availability of land, investment and ROI.”
Mr Pingle adds, “COLORBOND steel offered by Tata BlueScope Steel comes with Thermatech solar reflectance technology which has a higher solar reflectance index (SRI) value. The coating offers greater thermal efficiency, better lifecycle and ensures long lasting aesthetics of your building. Thermatech technology, works by reflecting a greater amount of the sun’s heat, thus leaving the roof space and therefore the building, cooler. In hot weather it can keep the building cooler by 1 C to 5 C, depending upon the level of insulation already installed, thus reducing the need for air-conditioning. Thermatech paint technology also provides architects with an appropriate building material to help fulfil their design briefs while achieving their sustainability objectives. Since the addition of Thermatech solar reflectance technology, even darker colours of the colorbond steel absorb less energy, offering the advantages of a cooler roof and a cooler building.”
Advantages of PEBs make it an enviable choice
Speaking of the material efficiency of Metal Buildings, Mr Roy says, “The metal building construction is the most enviable sector at the moment for the kind of opportunities being generated at every nook and corner of the country, in the form of development of warehousing. It seems metal buildings are omnipresent in different sector of the Indian economy. Metal buildings have its own major share in construction sector accounts for the total investment in infrastructure. It is expected to be the prime beneficiary of the surge in infrastructure investment in the neat to medium term.
Metal (Steel) buildings are the right choice in current days of advancement. Metal buildings offers many advantages like economy, sustainability and flexibility being amongst the many benefits of choosing metal buildings over RCC.”
Speaking of the material efficiency of advantages of PEB warehousing, Mr Roy says, “Steel warehouses weights are generally less compared to RCC, hence the earthquake force affecting the building will be reduced at the same ratio. Steel is 18 times more ductile than RCC which ensures energy absorption when exposed to deformation beyond the flexibility behaviour, this feature gains importance under dynamic loads. The PEB technology is making in-roads in residential and commercial sectors at a fast pace across rural and urban areas. India is well set to become a major player in building sector converting steel from RCC. India is growing very fast in PEB sector with an appreciable growth which is ahead of many other countries on run.”
Change in the public opinion about PEBs
Speaking of the shift in the public opinion on PEBs Mr Roy says, “The benefits demonstrated by PEB industry has attracted many users who use to earlier think RCC and conventional steel building as the only source is being amended by putting their preferences on PEB as a better solutions. There is almost no risk of error on the steel frame members that are manufactured and controlled at factory and that can be assembled very easily. By using structural steel in the loadbearing system, various geometrical forms can be designed, which is not possible with other materials.”
PEBs offer superior value
Several advantages of PEBs have made them a choice to reckon with. Since PEBs have added value to warehousing sector along with several advantages as highlighted by experts, they have become a choice for several companies across sectors and verticals.
Kirby’s warehouses buildings are customised to meet the unique demands of the customers.
D Raju, MD, Kirby Building Systems India