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Sustainability puts steel first

The 2008 Market Shares Survey – the 28th in this series of annual surveys – shows that steel’s share of the key multi storey market remains above 70% for the fifth year.

Steel still dominates the single storey market as developers and tenants of sheds, large retailers and others with complex distribution and logistical needs, become increasingly concerned with sustainability. “Steel is definitely winning new supporters as the sustainability debate becomes more sophisticated,” says Alan Todd, Corus General Manager Construction Services and Development.

“As well as the obvious multicycling advantages of steel, with just about all structural steel being multicycled, there are benefits across the economic and social as well as the environmental elements of sustainability that we have been telling the market about.

“Clients and designers in growth markets like healthcare and education particularly appreciate being able to easily expand or change layout and configurations in future as demands on buildings change. Steel is no longer only appreciated for being the most economical framing material but is recognised by the bulk of the market as the socially responsible material choice.”

The survey is the biggest of its type in the UK, covering over 27% of the offices market and some 19% of the other buildings market in terms of floor area, carried out by contacting 600 specifiers. Steel passed the 70% level for share of the multi storey buildings market for the first time in 2004, and the 2008 survey shows that steel remains at these record levels.

Steel enjoyed a 70.1% share of the overall market of 15.3M square metres for multi storey building frames in 2008. Dominant market share was also retained in the key growth sectors of education and healthcare. Steel’s share of the single storey industrial building market remains high at 97%.

The total market for multi storey buildings rose by almost 3%, the survey found. A fall in retail of almost 7% was offset by rises in all other categories, notably health and education.

Mr Todd said: “When developers and their construction teams factor in the many advantages of steel such as superior sustainability and more certainty with construction programmes, the market shares survey is telling us they find the case for steel is overwhelming.”

Mr Todd added that although a challenging year lies ahead for the construction industry, Corus will remain committed to its long term investment in research and development. “We are committed to making available to designers all they need to make designing in structural steel as straightforward as possible, especially with the Eurocodes looming. We will always invest to ensure that steel construction becomes even more popular with designers and building developers when we start to come out of this recession.”

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