One of the most frequently asked questions we hear in Green Field Projects is- which construction method better for the Main Frame construction of the factory, PEB or RCC?

PEB constructions are nowadays gaining popularity owing to their advantages over conventional Concrete and Steel constructions. Concrete structures are bulky and impart more seismic weight and less deflection whereas Steel structures instruct more deflections and ductility to the structure, which is beneficial in resisting earthquake forces. PEB Construction combines the better properties of both steel and concrete along with lesser cost, speedy construction, better quality control, sustainability etc.

RCC buildings are those which are made up of cement concrete reinforced with steel bars. Steel bars are used to increase the tension capacity of the structure. Cement concrete can take compression but weak in tension whereas steel is good in tension but weak in compression.

Construction methods of Reinforced Concrete.

Pre-engineered steel buildings are those that are totally designed and manufactured in the factory and then shipped to the site for jointing /fixing. In pre-engineered buildings usually, I-shaped members also called as I-beams are used. These beams are usually formed by welding steel plates together in the factory. Some manufacturers tapering the sections mean decreasing the size of web at the bottom. Engineers consider the clear span between column, bay spacing, dead loads, live loads, earthquake effect, wind loads, internal crane provision, deflection criteria, etc. for designing a pre-engineered building accurately. Primary framing includes the mainframe which is designed according to the bending moment diagram.

We decided to give you a breakdown of both the construction styles :

Comparison AspectPre-Engineered Steel Buildings (PEB)Concrete Buildings (RCC)
FabricationDone in shop-controlled conditions.Mostly at site in variable conditions.
Labor IntensityMostly made in Factories hence onsite labor is incredibly low.Highly labor intensive. Many number of people on site for many months.
Material SpecificationsPrecise and fixed, carefully and accurately controlled under supervision in the production facility.Variable, non-homogeneous. The properties of concrete vary widely due to variations in its proportioning and mixing.
Quality ControlPrecise and accurate measurements carried out by automated machines. No lapses in materials.Potential for significant errors as most of the work is man made on site. Materials can be compromised and it is not easy to identify.
Load BearingSteel may carry up to 6 times its own weight.The carried load of concrete is almost equal to its weight
Earthquakes / Wind ResistanceHighly resistant to earthquakes and wind Less resistant to earthquakes and low wind Resistance
Material FoundationsLighter, simple design and easy to construct.Variable and generally require extensive heavy foundations.
ErectionEasy, fast and efficient. Erection costs and time are accurately forecast based on extensive experience with similar buildings.Concrete construction takes more time to complete because it must be poured on site and allowed to cure before proceeding.
Clear SpansLarger, up to 90 meters without interior columns.Smaller Spans in general and the larger the span the heavier the structure.
Building HeightHigher . For the same cost. PEB give you a better height advantage.would depend upon foundation , higher you go the foundation has to be stronger.
ChangesFlexible, tailor-made, changes and revisions can be made easily.
Future expansion is simple, easy and cost-effective. One supplier to coordinate changes.
It is nearly impossible to modify a concrete building to meet changing future needs.
To expand the structure, the contractor must build a new structure with foundations, columns and most likely must break part of the old structure.
Fire ResistanceMultiple options available to choose Fire resistant coatings.Good Resistance.
ApplicationsBest suited for Industrial and Commercial.  Best suited for Offices and Commercial Establishments,  Houses, Villas, and Parliaments
CostOverall cost is generally slightly more than RCC structures but is justified from a time advantage perspective . Also the costs accurately defined and forecasted.Overall cost could be slightly lower than PEB Structures but is difficult to accurately define and forecast the total costs.
Codes used for Design
International design codes such as AISC, AISI, MBMA and AWS are used all over the world.Codes are not updated and traditional codes given by IS are used and the codes differ region to region.

In a Nutshell PEB structures are:

  1. Faster
  2. Stronger
  3. Versatile and Adaptable.
  4. Simpler in structural behavior
  5. Needs Skilled Precision

On the other hand, the economy and robust design of RCC is much more practical and reliable.
if you still ask us, we would recommend PEBs. for more details write to us at

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