ArcelorMittal’s INDI building melds innovative steel solutions with intelligent construction

Built to house 220 people from ArcelorMittal’s digitalisation teams, the INDI (Industrial Digitalisation) building in Ghent is setting high standards in office construction. With its open spaces, low overall height, and high level of energy efficiency, the building is a showcase for ArcelorMittal’s steel solutions. One of the most striking is the Granite® HDXtreme aesthetic cassettes that clad the outside of the building. This organic coated steel offers best in class resistance to corrosion thanks to its three-layer coating system. As the INDI building is located on the ArcelorMittal Gent site, close to the industrial environment of the mill and the sea, Granite® HDXtreme was the intelligent choice.

Detailed information

Sustainable construction solutions to suit the built environment

The INDI building is situated less than two kilometres from the Ghent-Terneuzen canal, a major inland waterway that connects ArcelorMittal Gent to the sea. The site is also located in a heavily industrial environment which includes the mill and other businesses. Granite® HDXtreme enables ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products to offer a 20-year guarantee in these locations.

A robust grained polyurethane coating protects Granite® HDXtreme from scratches during forming operations and transport. Granite® HDXtreme is also very sustainable, making it an ideal fit with ArcelorMittal’s Steligence® approach to creating sustainable built environments. The INDI building marks the first time the Steligence® concept has been fully deployed in an office building. Steligence® also includes a range of sustainable steel construction products, both long and flat, many of which were utilised in the INDI building.

Steligence®: a fresh perception of the built environment

The Steligence® concept proposes that buildings need to be considered as integrated, almost ‘living’ entities embedded in the urban environment. In this context, it suggests that broader and more transparent collaboration between architects, engineers, and property developers is called for. Without that collaboration, the potential to resolve the apparently competing demands of creativity, flexibility, sustainability, and economics is inevitably compromised.

Built into the Steligence® approach is a broad range of steel products for construction that individually add value, but together represent a compelling portfolio with a range of defined benefits.

Steligence® elements lighten the structure and reduce costs

One of the key components identified in the Steligence® concept is Angelina® beams. “The benefit of Angelina® beams is that they have openings which allow structural elements and utilities to be passed through,” notes Jan Jennes, project engineer from Arcadis, a multinational engineering company that consulted on the INDI building. “Their use avoids wasted space in the ceiling and enables the height of each floor to be lowered. In turn, this reduces the volume of air that needs to be heated or cooled.”

Cofraplus® 60 flooring has been deployed to enhance the lightness of the structure. The trapezoidal steel sheets have open ribs and specific embossment to ensure there is a good mechanical bond between the steel deck and the concrete. “The Cofraplus® composite slab is around two-and-a-half times lighter than concrete slabs and much quicker to install,” notes Francois Hanus, head of Steligence® Engineering. “The solution also provides thermal comfort and excellent acoustics in office buildings.”

The composite slab is designed to act as a tensile membrane in case of fire. This allows fire protection to be limited to just the beams that are connected to columns – without compromising safety. Around 60 per cent of the secondary beams in the structure do not require fire protection, offering significant cost savings.

A showcase of ArcelorMittal products and solutions

Other steel elements from ArcelorMittal have been utilised throughout the building explains Bart De Clercq, real estate manager for the ArcelorMittal Gent site: “For example, the INDI building is clad in different layers to ensure excellent insulation and airtightness. As well as the aesthetic Granite® HDXtreme cassettes, the building features ArcelorMittal’s new carrier-type Promisol S Hybrid® sandwich panels which ensure good airtightness and a high level of insulation.”

Smart construction tools have also been used to enhance recyclability or reuse. For example, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags have been placed in the sandwich panels and cladding cassettes as a test. The tags include detailed information about each specific building element and can be read with a scanner.

Unprecedented comfort

For the building’s occupants, the design sets new standards in an ArcelorMittal office. Sustainable heating and cooling are provided thanks to a geothermal system that uses ground energy to maintain a constant temperature throughout the year.

The spaces are open, flexible, and filled with natural light. On darker days, smart LED lighting – made with ArcelorMittal steel – provides artificial illumination for maximum energy efficiency. In the entryway, the ceiling will be left open to showcase the steel floor and structural beams.

Extensive use of ArcelorMittal products

The INDI building is a living showcase of products from ArcelorMittal including:

  • Granite® HDXtreme coated Coque MD cassettes
  • Carrier-type Promisol S Hybrid® sandwich panels for airtightness and insulation
  • Angelina® beams: lightweight, long-span, structural elements that allow for large, column-free spaces
  • Cofraplus® composite floors: trapezoidal steel sheets with open ribs to shutter and reinforce concrete floors
  • Indaten® weathering steel: used as borders to separate grass and gravel areas in the grounds
  • Magnelis®: steel finished with this innovative metallic coating has been used for the lighting poles on the INDI building’s grounds
  • Slag from the nearby Gent mill has been utilised in two ways: crushed to form gravel for the car parks and processed to remove calcium in order to be utilised as a foundation for the asphalt parking area

ArcelorMittal steels have also been used in products supplied by our partners. These include:

Project information

  • Ghent
  • Belgium
  • 2021
  • Architect & engineering:
  • General contractor: 
    Cordeel NV
  • Structural steel fabricator:
    Metaalbouw Dugardein - De Sutter NV
  • Facade contractor: 
    Habemo Building partner bvba
  • Text:
    ArcelorMittal Europe Communications
  • Photos:
    © Jeroen Op de Beeck / ArcelorMittal Gent
    © Jeroen Op de Beeck & Philippe Vandenameele