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Market forecast paints a brighter picture

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Our News section this month contains positive news for the steel construction supply chain as well as for its clients.

The continuing strength of steel as the favoured material for frames in all of the key sectors of the market is confirmed in our Market Share survey story.

The steel construction market forecasts that are also published this month show a near 40% rise in the amount of office space being built over the five years to 2018. The sheds market and other key sectors are also in for a period of sustained growth.

This issue of NSC shows plenty of reasons why steel is favoured in so many diverse markets. The façade retention on London’s Regent Street that we visit is made possible by steel’s ease of use on congested inner city sites, with offsite manufacture plus just in time delivery really coming into its own in this busy shopping and commercial area.

Just north of London in High Wycombe a new gateway development to the town is providing retail, commercial and leisure facilities. Steel’s future proofing benefits mean that a mezzanine floor can be added to the centrepiece supermarket if required in the future.

Further north, regeneration of the former car manufacturing site at Longbridge has steel at its heart, with a new major Marks & Spencer store under way.

Heading west out of London we find the centrepiece of Slough’s town centre regeneration is a uniquely shaped steel framed library and cultural centre – our cover story this month – made possible by steel’s ability to be easily curved. The project also shows a construction team taking advantage of a BIM approach to design and construction, which the steel sector is well placed to participate in.

Further west in Bristol a church and community facility is providing a 550 seat auditorium, a complex project on a tight site made straightforward by using steel.

The sustainability benefits of steel are numerous and a continuous programme of work by the sector aims to keep steel the natural sustainability choice for building frames and bridges. One of the current areas of activity written about in NSC this month is establishing the embodied carbon footprint of the fabrication activities of steelwork contractors, which the Steel Construction Institute has investigated on behalf of the BCSA.

Stories like these now available every week, on NSC’s Weekly News email alert. This is a new service that aims to bring you up to date steel sector news. Your monthly NSC will however still carry the main news stories, in more depth and with more analysis.

Nick Barrett – Editor

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Click on the cover to view this month's issue as a digimag.