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The case for steel – Providing unrivalled support

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Steel construction provides modern offices with their required large open plan column free areas

In the latest in our Case for Steel series we review the support available for architects and engineers designing in steel. Extensive support covering all areas where specialist advice might be needed is provided by the steel construction sector – free of charge.

The steel construction sector offers specifiers, designers and clients a level of technical and other support that is unmatched by any other construction material.

Steel is at the forefront of modern construction, and the entire steel construction supply chain recognises that clients, designers and specifiers need to be kept fully up to date on technical progress.

Steel sector support is committed to helping designers develop innovative solutions,  ensuring that steel maintains its leading role in economic, energy efficient, fire-safe and socially and environmentally responsible construction. These objectives are fully supported by teams of experts at Corus, the BCSA and SCI in all technical matters across engineering, building physics, design and fire safety.

This base of expertise supports and drives changes in steel construction. Sustainability is recognised as a key driver of construction solutions and the sector develops innovative sustainability solutions as well as supporting others.

Cellular beams with service openings help maximise floor to ceiling heights

Standard connections allow steelwork to be erected quickly on site

Steel framed hospitals achieve the required dynamic response for all modern medical equipment

The steel sector has undertaken extensive research and development into the properties of steel, and how it can best be used, over many years. No other construction material has such a sustained track record of major investment in technical research and development, and in ensuring that this knowledge is spread as widely as possibly through the construction community, without charge.

Co-ordinated and comprehensive support is provided free of charge to specifiers, clients and designers. The fullest range of detailed technical advice is never more than a telephone call away to the Corus Hotline, and is also available from technical experts at the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) and the Steel Construction Institute (SCI).

Since the 1980’s a network of regionally based Corus Regional Technical Managers have been on hand to offer guidance and support to designers in steel.

The steel sector is dedicated to ensuring that its support provides everything needed to make it as straightforward as possible to design in and build with steel. An extensive range of support material is available on-line and in printed formats. A comprehensive range of design guides covering all aspects of steel construction is available.

Technical courses and seminars are arranged by Corus, the BCSA and the SCI. The detailed free seminars provided on specific issues, and on leading edge projects in the Corus ‘Framed in Steel’ series, are a popular way of keeping up to date on the latest design and construction thinking and techniques.

Support is available on request on all technical matters in areas such as acoustics and floor vibrations, areas where knowledge is continuously developed. Support is provided in all areas involving economics, programme, material and design.

The steel sector has been assisting with development of the Eurocodes for over 20 years, and over the last five years the focus has switched from development to implementation. Significant resources have been committed to the preparation of design guidance, training aids and web-based learning packages. All of this guidance material has been timed to be available for practising engineers when they need it.

Close relationships are fostered with university and other educational and research institutions in the UK and overseas, and extensive teaching resources are supplied. Other educational support includes providing bursaries, and sponsoring the annual undergraduate design competitions for architects and engineers. Two university academic positions are supported by the steel sector.

The needs of the construction industry are promoted via a range of steel sector committees dedicated to support on specific issues such as health and safety, sustainability, connections, fasteners, industrial buildings, steel homes, steel bridges and fire performance.

Innovations support

Areas where technical innovations have been brought forward by the steel sector include:

  • Long span solutions that create highly valued column free spaces
  • Cellular and fabricated beams with web openings
  • Asymmetric beams
  • Shallow floor solutions
  • Deep decking for composite construction
  • Wind-moment frame design methods
  • Standard connections
  • Fire engineering
  • Floor dynamics
  • Acoustics
  • Thermal mass

Support sources

Support is available through the Corus telephone hotline and from technical experts at the BCSA and SCI.

Corus Hotline: 01724 405060
BCSA: 020 7839 8566
SCI: 01344 636555

Many technical resources including design guides and software are available on-line at:

Other useful sites include:  (New Steel Construction’s searchable article archive)  (SCI News)  (Computer aided learning)  (Basic information on construction)  (Technical support for Eurocodes)

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