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February 2006 – Market share hits landmark level

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It is a curiosity of the building frames market – to outsiders at any rate – that there is only one market shares survey made public by any of the alternative material producers. The fact is though that steel for the past 20 odd years has been overwhelmingly the market’s favoured choice, and there is no marketing mileage for the others in drawing attention to the fact that they steadily lose ground.

The first results of the 2005 Market Shares Survey, commissioned by Corus, but produced by independent market researchers, have come through, and show that the positive trends continue (click here to see story). Steel has taken a 70% share of the multi-storey non-residential frames market for the first time, a true landmark. Much has been read in the construction press of claims by concrete producers to be improving their relative performance, but when it comes to hard facts the evidence disproves their claims.

Some 25 years ago when this series of studies was started steel enjoyed only a 33% market share. Concrete’s fall from market favour mirrors steel’s rise of course, and in 2005 in situ concrete in the multi storey non-residential sector languished at around the same level as 2004, a 25 year low.

The market was rising in 2005, but increasing market share in a rising market still means that marketing messages are getting across to an ever wider key target audience. Benefits like speed and cost predictability have done much to carry steel to today’s position of market dominance. A key driver in future is clearly going to be the superior sustainability credentials of steel, and the recent launch of the BCSA’s Sustainability Charter has helped to get the sustainability messages across. More will be done in the coming months that NSC will keep readers abreast of.

Sheds are growing up

Sheds are coming of age. They are getting bigger, more complex and more vital to the economic development of the UK. They have caught the attention of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who is reported to be devising a planning framework that permits the development of giant sheds to support rising imports and the demand for internet retailers’ products.

Sheds will have its own dedicated two day networking and conference event for the first time this month, that has attracted the attentions of funding institutions eager to lend construction money to the sector and leading politicians.

The Supersheds Group at the SCI has produced a timely guidance for all involved in the sheds supply chain which details procurement best practice and which will be launched at the sheds event (click here to see feature). Steel already has a 95% share of the sheds market, and the Supersheds Group are confident that they can continue to deliver value in line with whatever the changing market demands. Reading the new guidance will give an idea why they are so confident.

Nick Barrett

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