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Insight on steel frame costs

Posted on by in Weekly News

insight150326The latest of the Steel Insight series of articles by Gardiner & Theobald will be published in Building magazine on 27 March, providing an update of the costs of steel-framed commercial buildings.

Steel Insight also includes two case studies on how steel was used to successfully deliver two industrial buildings.

The article is the 12th in the series, providing updates on tender prices and to the cost model of two typical commercial buildings. The G&T analysis points out that in common with other construction materials fabricated steelwork has been rising in price recently, despite falling oil and iron ore prices – raw steel only accounts for 30% to 40% of a steel structural frame cost and other cost pressures are acting on prices. Steel however maintains its traditional competitive cost advantage over alternative materials.

G&T’s Cost Model update is based on forecast tender price inflation in London for the first quarter of 2015 of 5%, and an expected outturn for 2014 of 6%. A move away from single stage tendering that was seen in London last year as contractor attitudes to the level of risk they are prepared to shoulder is spreading to the regions, they warn.

G&T says that expected increases in demand in 2015 allied to increasing wages and rising materials prices means that substantial inflation allowances may have to be considered for projects being tendered this year and beyond.

The two featured industrial projects illustrate why steel is the preferred framing solution for almost all industrial buildings in the UK, with one of them depending on the long span capabilities of steel, and the project team on the other taking advantage of the speed and flexibility inherent in steel frame solutions.

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