Steel has consolidated its overall share of the framing market at nearly 70 per cent.
A study by construction marketresearch specialist Construction Markets shows that, during 2000, it was used as a framing material for two-thirds of non-domestic multi-storey buildings.
Its greatest dominance is in the multistorey industrial sector (at 92 per cent) followed by leisure (at 79 per cent), retail (75 per cent) and office (70.2 per cent).
In no area does its share of the market fall significantly below 50 per cent.
In the non-domestic single-storey buildings market, steel has a share of nearly 90 per cent, with load-bearing masonry accounting for 7.6 per cent. In situ concrete, pre-cast concrete and timber each take less than 1.5 per cent each.
When questioned about their reasons for choosing steel, more than a quarter of all responding specifiers cited 'speed of construction' as the decisive factor.A further 20.6 per cent said that 'lowest overall cost'was the determinant.More than 600 people were interviewed. Construction Markets has been carrying out an annual survey for 20 years. The firm's Dominic Collins said the accumulated data 'shows a long-term trend towards steel framing'.