constructsteel, an initiative of the World Steel Association (worldsteel), is a steel construction market development programme whose goal is to increase the share of steel in construction by promoting its use with the steel industry’s stakeholders.

The construction industry is and will continue to remain the steel industry's largest customer. worldsteel estimates that the global construction industry accounts for just under half of the steel industry's shipments. At the same time, construction is one of the global economy's largest industries, with around $10 trillion spent on construction related goods and services each year (around 15% of the economy) and employs under 10% of the working age population.

worldsteel believes that further urbanisation, the growing global economy and continued globalisation are all supportive of the construction industry and an increasing ratio of steel construction related shipments to total steel industry shipments.

The global steel industry's share of the construction industry (in revenue terms) is around 10%; taking construction-only related shipments, the ratio falls to under 5%. Therefore, a promotion programme to increase the use of steel in construction requires both collaboration and alliance building with downstream partners. The latter include, inter alia, bodies for developing design codes, architects, structural engineers, national construction associations and the steel industry's customers: collectively known as the "steel construction value chain".

Since early 2017, worldsteel has been actively pursuing the above in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In the former, worldsteel is providing leadership to the national bodies tasked with the promotion of steel (Independent Promotion Organisations or IPOs). In CIS, worldsteel acts as a gateway to the transfer of knowledge, best practices, expertise and contacts. Our goal is to further expand the current CIS model to other developing regions.

The 2017/18 work programme is split into the following areas:

1. Easing the use of steel in construction: The goal is to encourage structural engineers to choose steel by simplifying its use in design. worldsteel in conjunction with the IPOs are developing an "Easycode", a design manual which uses 20% of the Eurocodes to design 80% of the buildings. worldsteel is also lobbying with the relevant technical bodies where practicing structural engineers contribute to making the use of steel in buildings more appealing.

2. Increasing and centralising information in the use of steel in construction: worldsteel together with the IPOs are developing an on-line information tool which centralises a library of questions and answers related to various steel construction topics. The goal is to maximise the dissemination of information related to the use of steel in construction. Similarly, the scope of this website, constructsteel.org, is to act as a hub for everything related to steel construction knowledge and to launch projects.

3. Centralise and promote steel construction education courses: worldsteel is working with the IPOs to translate their educational textbooks based on Eurocode to English. The goal is to disseminate and easily make available the relevant materials to steel construction students throughout Europe.

4. Transfers of knowledge, contacts and best practices: steel producers in developing countries are increasing their efforts to promote the use of steel in construction. For example, worldsteel's role in supporting the Russian Steel Construction Development Association (SCDA) and Ukrainian Steel Construction Center (USCC) is to create a forum for the transfers of knowledge, expertise and networks. worldsteel is exploring options to engage with other developing markets.

5. Steel construction conference: related to 4. above, worldsteel organised its first steel construction conference in 2017 (30 May–1 June, Düsseldorf) with the aim of increasing engagement both within the steel construction value chain and within different regions.

6. Increasing the availability of steel construction statistics: more must be done to collect statistics which identify materials usage trends in buildings. In some countries materials used are available through public sources, but this is generally not the case in other countries and must be collected via surveys. Therefore, worldsteel is working with the IPOs to strengthen this process and increase our data collection capacities.