Metal Domes - Design, Pre-Fabrication, Installation and Commission
50 feet diameter church dome ; more than 20 labours ; precisely calculated installation using 2 heavy-duty cranes
The popularity of our service in metal fabrication, the expertise in making several Church-wares & flag-poles (kodi-marams) and the goodwill we have among the Christian organisations and officials, led us to assign with one of the prestigious works we were longing for. The work-contract was between GreenHopper Pvt. Ltd. and the Director & Vicar of St.Lazar's Catholic Church, Kottapadi, Kerala.
In the feasibility study conducted by the client to choose the right structure, either concrete or metal structure, following aspects were found favouring the use of steel structure.
- Flexible architectural style
Covering a large space, reduction in the cross section of the column area and the use of light weight materials to easily shape into any design.
- Construction time
The construction is quick due to following reasons - light steel structure, absense of formworks and temporary support. The construction cycle of steel structures, can shorten 50% to 75% than the traditional structure mode which can greatly save the project fund.
- Light weight
Steel structures using lightweight materials, composed of high-strength heat, waterproof and sound insulation, can reduce 50% to 75% drop in overall weight than the concrete structure.
- Energy saving
The standardized prefabricated panels with glass windows saves use of artificial light inside the dome.
- Environmental friendly
Effects are better, steel structure construction greatly reduces the amount of Lime, Sand and Stone. The steel can be recycled or degraded.
- Economical labour charges
Manpower costs reduces by 50% when compared to concrete structure construction.
As per the client's requirment, we followed the domestic dome designs of Catholic churches that prevails in the state of Kerala along with the global metal fabrication designs. For a long lasting life, we used high grade stainless steel and brass combinations as the dome surface. For light passage, small glass windows were installed. Finally, the inner side of the dome was hand painted by skilled mural artists that conveys an heavenly feel to the viewers. Special attention were given to the continuity of the painted figures as the application was directly on the finished pre-fabricated components. To fullfil the purpose of the structure, a four feet Holy Cross made from stainless steel was fabricated.
The pre-fabricated components were carried to the site for the final assembling. It took almost three days to complete the structure and attain the desired precisions. It was a challenge to lift the assembled structure from the ground to the 10 feet high concrete circular base which is at 30 feet high Church top. To attain this we hired two heavy-duty cranes and highly skilled staffs which approximately took 3 hours to safely and precisely position the dome on the base provided. Once it was placed, our skilled staff continued with the final assembling and joint leak proofing tasks. Finally, the Holy Cross was fixed and it was commissioned to the devotees of the Church.