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Flats rise high on steel

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Corus has released further results of its 2004 Market Share Survey, which confirms that steel remains the construction framing material of choice in its key market sectors, while significant inroads have been made into developing markets.

One of the key features thrown up by the survey, carried out by independent market researchers Construction Markets, is a major change in the type of residential accommodation constructed over the past five years, with apartments now accounting for 40% of the total starts in 2004, compared to just 17% in 1999. Low rise apartments, up to four storeys, have risen to 29% of the total starts, while high rise apartments have jumped to 11% of the total from a negligible 1% five years ago.

Construction Markets’ Dominic Collins said: ‘The growth in apartments, particularly high rise, has been a striking feature of the survey. The survey shows that steel frames’ share of the high rise apartments market has risen in the past year alone from 39.4% to 43.5%. With the market also growing in size, that means steel frames were used for over 10,000 high rise apartment units in 2004, compared with less than 5,000 units in 2003.’

The survey shows that in 2004, steel had a share of the market for all multi- storey non-residential buildings, of 69.2% against 16.8% for its nearest rival, insitu concrete. This is the lowest level for insitu concrete since the survey began in 1980.

Steel remains most dominant in multi-storey offices, with a share of 71.7%, defined by floor area. Insitu concrete saw its share of offices fall to 20.9%, from 23.3% in 2003.

In the ‘other multi-storey buildings’ category, which includes retail, leisure, education and health buildings, steel enjoyed a 68.2% market share with insitu concrete being used on just 15%, down from 17.5% in 2003. Load bearing masonry saw its share of these sectors rise to 11.2% from 8.4% in 2003.

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