THE STEEL construction industry is set to unveil increased levels of annual output thanks to soaring demand for steel-framed structures.
UK steel contractors and fabricators are on course to post a total output of 1.336 million tonnes of structural steel this year, despite spiralling prices, industry body the British Constructional Steelwork Association has claimed.
Speaking at its annual lunch last week, BCSA president Donal McCormack revealed that despite high energy costs and soaring raw material prices, architects and clients had not been put off the use of steel as a construction method.
He claimed that demand for steel framed building techniques would continue to increase and cited the 2012 Olympic Games as a catalyst for further growth.
He said: 'Output this year is forecast to increase to 1.336 million tonnes with a further 2 per cent increase forecast over the coming two years. Hosting the 2012 Olympics should be of great benefit to our industry and further increase demand over the next five years.'
And Mr McCormack claimed the industry was grabbing more market share from rival structural framing materials such as reinforced concrete.
He said that more multistorey non-residential buildings than ever before were being erected using structural steel.
He said: 'Steel's market share has reached an all-time record high. Steel's share of the multi-storey non-residential buildings market has reached 70 per cent for the first time.
In 25 years steel's market share has steadily increased from 25 per cent to its current level.'
Regarding the rocketing steel prices, Mr McCormack claimed the sector was still offering clients value for money despite a squeeze in worldwide stock levels. He claimed price hikes would mean an overall price increase for fabricated steelwork of 15 per cent over the year.
He said: 'All construction products are facing raw material and energy price increases; steel is not the worst affected.
The latest cost comparison study has once again proved that steel provides the most advantageous and economical framing solution.'