Terrence Busuttil, Head, Construction Coalitions, worldsteel

26 April 2018

Recently we launched a dedicated steel construction promotion programme called constructsteel which has a very important purpose – to increase the use of steel across the world. A tangible part of this is our new website which will act as an information sharing platform between the steel industry, customers, and partners.

Why do we need to promote steel use in construction?

Put simply the market share of structural steel frames in many countries is under pressure from competing materials. Take the UK market, for example, the chart below shows how the market share for structural steel frames has evolved since 1980.

Source: British Constructional Steelwork Association

This is wrong on so many counts from the recyclability of steel and its environmental benefits to the flexibility of design and ease of use. Steel is the material of choice for construction in the future and we need to re-educate a whole generation of new architects and specifiers about these benefits.

And the opportunity is immense as the population grows and new cities are planned.

Last week we had a successful conference in London. For those of you who could not attend we had speakers addressing the following major themes:

  1. Improving construction industry productivity – Increasing use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digitisation is essential for increasing productivity in construction.
  2. Increasing downstream collaboration – A common approach among the steel industry, partners, and customers is key to successfully promoting the use of steel in construction.
  3. Amplifying steel’s competitive advantage in construction – For example, fire is not a disadvantage to steel anymore – information and technical education are vital.
  4. Improving coordination among steel construction bodies – constructsteel will act as a central focus overseeing the work of technical, academic and promotion bodies reducing duplication.

All the papers can be found on constructsteel.org. We are going to build valuable content on this website quickly. Please go and have a look. Any gaps you want to be filled let me know.

constructsteel conference, London, 17-18 April 2018