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Steel remains the competitive choice

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Steel is still the framing material of choice and the competitive option for the construction of multi-storey buildings.

The 2010 Market Share Survey conducted by independent researcher Construction Markets shows that steel was the preferred framing solution for 67.4% of multi-storey commercial buildings, with in-situ concrete accounting for only 20.3% of the market.

Meanwhile, the 2010 fourth quarter cost comparison study conducted by Davis Langdon reaffirms that structural steel framing solutions are faster to build and more cost effective than reinforced concrete alternatives.

The study shows the concrete frame and floor options cost an average of £153.70 per m², and this is £34.34 more than the average steel cost of £119.36 per m². In comparison with 1995, the cost differential between the two framing options is actually wider today, as steel options were only £12.10 per m² cheaper then.

Alan Todd, BCSA Market Development Director, said: “That steel is more cost effective than concrete as a framing solution has been consistently shown in the  annual cost comparison series of studies. Cost is a major reason why the annual survey of market shares confirms that steel is chosen for about 70% of the UK’s multi storey building frames.

“When all the other pluses of using steel are added on, like construction programme advantages, off-site fabrication and fire protection and sustainability benefits, it is no surprise that steel frames enjoy such a huge competitive advantage.”


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