Steel and Concrete Composite Structure as an Alternative Building Construction Material and its Application on High Rise Building Construction in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The Ethiopian construction industry is showing a boom following the countries continuing economic progress. The country has also aimed to join middle income world in 2025. Construction industry is one of the major industries that contribute to the aimed development by acting as a motor in all other sectors. In order to enable the construction industry assists the development plan, it requires adopting alternative technologies with respect to speed of construction, structural integrity and stability, environmental compatibility, costing minimization, adoptability of technology and so on. The development trend is forcing local and international people to flow to the capital Addis Ababa. As the number of inhabitants increased, the demand for housing and other infrastructures is also escalating. Therefore, it is becoming an alarming call to build high rise buildings to be able to accommodate the home seekers. As it is proved by literatures of so many researchers from all corners of the world, reinforced concrete system of structures has weaknesses with regard to span restriction, heavier load of frame, bigger size of columns and especially, when the building height increased, the bigger will be effect of earthquake and the higher will be the cost of construction. In order to solve such restrictions, there was a need to look for an alternative structural hybrid system having fulfilled the week sides of the RC system and Steel Structure. Steel is the best material known for its higher stiffness to be able to spanning wider and carry more load on a smaller cross section of vertical members. Also due to the connections are not as rigid as RC structure and the lesser the building weight, earthquake effects are minimized. The weak side of steel is; it is less resistant to fire and corrosive actions. Hence a new approach called steel and concrete composite structural system had been introduced to the world a while after 2nd world war some 60 years ago with integrated property in that the concrete protects fire and corrosion while the steel contributes stiffness and span freedom. (Brian Uy, Professor of structural engineering and Director of CIES, Australia) As it is highlighted in the literatures reviewed and this thesis itself, Steel-concrete composite structural system proved feasible for buildings higher than 14stories and for those lower than that, reinforced concrete structural system is still the best option. But when comes to the effective use of available space, the benefit forgone due to former concept is something that needed further research which might change the trend dramatically that RC system is found to vacating 40% of the built up space compared to the steel and concrete composite system of structures. Hence it can be said there is a visible lack of using composite structures as an alternative building construction material. The question is therefore is it not helpful to Ethiopian high rise building construction or are there problems that limited the industry not to use steel-concrete composite structures? In this research it was tried to access all sectors of the industry and the major problems are concentrated on technological availability, the retardation in steel rolling industries and non consideration by government.



Composite Structure, Steel, Concrete, Building Construction Material, High Rise Building, Building Construction in Ethiopia