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Steel dominates market

marketshareGraphOct13The most comprehensive building frames market research carried out in the UK confirms the overwhelming dominance of steel construction in the key multi storey non residential sector.

The study from independent researchers Construction Markets shows steel retaining its leading position with a 67.1% market share in 2012, against a background of a severely declining market. Steel frames are even more popular in the multi storey offices sector where market share is over 70%.

The study, based on interviews with 450 specifiers, is the latest in a series going back to 1980, since when steel has steadily gained ground on alternative framing solutions such as insitu concrete which has fallen to a market share of only 21%. Precast concrete and timber account for 2.8% and 2.3% respectively, while load bearing masonry has 6.7%.

In the ‘other’ multi storey buildings category – which includes retail, education, leisure and health – steel has a share of over 66%.

The survey also shows that the market fell by over 18% in 2012, with the total floor area constructed in all multi storey buildings falling to 8,891,000 sq m, which represents only 68% of the market at its 2008 peak.

Steel’s market share for all single storey buildings overall was unchanged in 2012 compared to 2011 at almost 85%. The shed market was down 47% in 2012 from its peak in 2007, and within that market the agriculture sector grew to 20% of the market.

Steel is also strong in the education, healthcare, leisure and retail sectors, enjoying a 69% market share in the latter in 2012.

Education continues to provide a significant workload for steelwork contractors as a significant number of new schools, colleges and student accommodation buildings rely on steel construction. Steel’s market share in this sector was 56% in 2012.

In leisure, steel had a 64% market share in 2012 and in healthcare it had a market share of 56%.

Alan Todd, General Manager of Construction Services & Development at Tata Steel Europe, said: “We are pleased to see against the most challenging market background that any of us can have ever seen, when factors like cost effectiveness, speed of construction and sustainability are more important than ever, that steel is so confidently selected by the market as the preferred framing material.”

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