Kerala is opening doors to experimentation in construction industry that delivers better, more efficient and affordable houses. An emerging alternative that is leading the way is Light Gauge Steel Frame Structure of LGSFS technology which delivers better quality houses faster than ever before.
Mobish, a government employee, was also ready to explore modern practices when he decided to build a house in 5 cents of land at Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district of Kerala. As he was involved in public service apart from normal office hours, Mobish had very little time to devote in supervising the construction of his house. This prompted him to opt for an affordable technology that takes comparatively lesser time to finish the project. The quest finally led to Light Gauge Steel Frame Structure of LGSFS technology which helped to finish the work in four and a half months. Thanks to Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, the construction would have otherwise completed in three months.
LGSFS involved less labour cost as the houseowner employed just three workers to set up the entire structure. Stress is a natural reaction when you think about building a house. The whole process is sure to drive the house owner crazy once the project picks up momentum. Bucking the trend, Mobish stood calm and composed as the work progressed and in all the four-and-a-half months of construction he visited the site just twice or thrice.
» Structure constructed as per plan using Light Gauge Steel Frame on the foundation
» Fibre cement panels were fixed on the frame to build the walls.
» Fibre cement board fastened securely on steel truss roofing. Clay tiles or shingles laid to make the roof attractive.
» The interiors were partitioned by fibre cement boards
» Walls are designed to permit wiring and plumbing work in the concealed style format, without the need for drilling holes
The ground floor comprises a sit-out, living room, dining room, kitchen and a bedroom, while the upstairs features two bedrooms and an open terrace in the 1,440-sqft abode. The guest living area designed in double height promises adequate privacy. The dining area and kitchen are fixed on either sides of the rectangular hall.
The stairway has been modelled in industrial design with steps made of treated wood. A mini library is tucked beneath the stairs.
The kitchen has been structured using aluminium fabrication that features modular cabinets using aluminium composite panels (ACP) and granite counter tops.
The thermal acoustic insulation on the roofings helps to keep the interiors cool limiting the use of fans and air-conditioners. It delivers perfect energy efficiency in the interior temperature and keeps a lid on the wintry climate of Wayanad while maintaining a comfortable warmth within. The cost-effective factor is attractive to the point that Mobish had to shell out only Rs33 lakh for the steely dwelling, including the structure and furnishing.
Pros of Light Gauge Steel Framing Structure (LGSFS)
» Light weight construction mode necessitates the need to concentrate only on basic foundation
» Lessens the time of construction to 3 months with minimum workers
» Does not require curing as in the case of concrete houses. Hence it eliminates the process of maintaining moisture of freshly placed concrete
» Environment-friendly; if needed the steel structures can be easily dismantled, the interiors remodelled and reutilised at a different location
» Zero construction debris, guarantees good resale value as steel can be 100 per cent recycled
» Has the extraordinary feature of being resistant to earthquake and fire
» The thinner walls enhance the carpet area of the built structure. For instance, an additional 100 sqft area is gained for a 1000sqft area.
» High energy efficiency; has thermal insulation to bring down the heat inside.
Construction materials used
Structure: Steel Frame
Walls: Fibre Cement Board
Roofing: Fibre Cement Board, Shingles
Foundation, Floor: RCC
Floooring: Vitrified Tiles
Door: Steel, Fibre doors
Location: Sulthan Bathery, Wayanad
Plot: 5 cents
Area: 1,400 sqft
Owner: Mobish Thomas
Architect: Hashim Mohammed
Designer& Developer: Majid T K
ODF Group, Calicut
Budget: 33 lakh
TC: January 21021
Photographs: Ajeeb Komachi