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Steel still the competitive option

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Steel is emerging from the recession as still the framing material of choice for the multi-storey buildings market.

The 2009 Market Share Survey conducted by independent researcher Construction Markets shows that in the non-residential multi-storey buildings sector structural steel frames held a market share of 69%. Steel’s nearest rival, insitu concrete, remained below 20%, where it has been for some years. Steel’s share of the single storey industrial buildings market rose to 97.6%.

Alan Todd, Director of Market Development at the BCSA, said: “The growth of structural steel’s use over the last 25 years is a real success story for the construction and manufacturing sectors in the UK.”

Mr Todd said the recent increases in steel prices shouldn’t affect steel’s market share. “There is also upward pressure on alternative materials which means the relative competitive position will be largely unchanged. Recent steel prices are not insignificant, but they constitute less than 1% of overall typical building costs. It is also worth considering that even with the price increases the costs of the frame and floor of a steel-framed building is still well below 2008 levels.

“We believe that structural steel’s overall cost and sustainability benefits as well as its speed, quality, and health and safety record will continue to make it the preferred choice of construction teams.”

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