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Steelwork increases its structural frames market share

Market Shares – Total Multi-Storey Non-Domestic Building Market, Great Britain 1980 to 2023

Steelwork continues to be the UK’s structural framing material of choice for a number of key construction sectors, according to the latest survey from independent market research consultants Construction Markets.

The 2023 survey, commissioned by Steel for Life and the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA), is the latest in a series going back to 1980 and is thought to be the biggest of its type in the UK, involving over 750 interviews with construction specifiers.

The overall structural frames market in the UK for 2023 was down 8.8% from the previous year, but steelwork’s overall market share was 48.6%, the biggest share of any material and up from 45.4% in 2022.

Steelwork has traditionally dominated the single storey non-domestic building market (sheds) and in 2023 it had a 94.6% market share, compared to 94.2% in 2022. Year on year, the sector, which accounts for almost 50% of the overall structural steelwork market by tonnage, was 12,158,000m2, down by 2.6% from 2022.

In the multi-storey non-domestic sector, steelwork’s share for 2023 was up from 65.9% in 2022 to 66.4%. Within this sector, steel accounted for 75.3% of the private offices market.

Elsewhere, steelwork’s market share was also up by 1.4% for multi-storey private leisure buildings and up 1.3% for multi-storey education buildings.

BCSA Chief Executive Officer David Moore said: “The survey shows that steel remains the preferred choice of the UK construction market across all the building types analysed. With the total UK consumption of constructional steel in 2023 at 893,000 tonnes, it is clear that steel has out-performed other framing materials and retained its market share in some areas and increased it in others.”

“The cost-effectiveness of steel, its adaptability, speed of construction and contribution to the circular economy through reuse and recycling are all factors that continue to be valued by developers, contractors, designers and building users alike.”

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