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Steelwork strengthens structural frames market share

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Steelwork continues to be the 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 2021 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 2021 increased by 14.1%, which reflects a positive recovery, but still slightly down on the pre-pandemic results for 2019. Steelwork’s overall market share stood at 42.1%, the biggest share of any material.

Steelwork has traditionally dominated the single storey non-domestic market for industrial-type buildings and in 2021 it had a 93.3% market share, compared to 92.4% in 2020. Year on year, the sector, which accounts for almost 50% of the overall structural steelwork market by tonnage, increased by 14.4% with a total floor area of 10,427,000m2.

In the multi-storey non-domestic sector, steelwork’s share for 2021 was up from 64.7% in 2020 to 65.5%. Within this sector, steel accounted for 76.9% of the private offices market, an all-time high, surpassing the 73.8% it took in 2020.

Steelwork’s market share was also up for multi-storey private retail buildings (59.2% compared to 59.1% in 2020), multi-storey public educational buildings (59.7% compared to 58.8% in 2020) and multi-storey public health buildings (49.2% from 49% in 2020).

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