Keep Rolling On – Continuing Construction in a COVID World
During the challenges of the pandemic, ASC Steel Deck is fortunate to be able to continue quality production of structural steel roof and floor deck by the truckload each day. While COVID has created a variety of challenges for many, plans on major projects continue to move forward with new plans on the horizon all the time. With the added complexities of COVID safety measures, construction and production has been impressive; which begs the question, what does the future of structural steel look like?
Global steel production volume is estimated to reach 2,175 million tons in 2024, growing at a rate of 4.50% from 2020 to 2024 according to ResearchAndMarkets.com. After bracing from the impacts of 2020, it seems this forecast may still be in the cards. Factors such as an increasing population, burgeoning urban areas, growing spending on infrastructure and rising demand for structural steel are expected to drive the market and keep it on pace despite the pandemic.
Outside of the immediate volatility of the global economy, there are several underlying trends that are driving demand in the building and construction sectors. One of the larger ones (pun intended) is “progressive urbanization” and the rise of so-called megacities with populations over 10 million. With population increasing, people have to live somewhere, and this has led to changes in the way we view building and construction.
In an effort to counter the negative effects of urbanization (high energy usage, safety and security, environmental pollution, destruction of natural areas, etc.), the focus on developing smart buildings and communities has increased. Neom’s “The Line” (click HERE to learn more) is a prime example of a progressive project. Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM Company Board of Directors says will be “a city of a million residents with a length of 170 km that preserves 95% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions.”. The Line is meant to be a revolution in urban living combing the notions of convenience, healthy living, and nature.
This new green and ecological focus present steel producers and architects with an opportunity to evolve and re-think how materials can play a role in buildings and cities of the future. Steel can play a role in supporting key requirements for smart buildings through:
Energy Efficiency. As part of the continued focus on climate change globally, there is increasing demand that buildings are designed to have greater energy efficiency and lower emission levels during their operation. Steel is recyclable and has more durability than other structural items, making it a greener choice overall.
Building Certifications. Steel can play a very positive role in green buildings certifications such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and health-related certifications, such as the WELL Building Standard, and Fitwel.
Operational Improvements. Steel structures support designs with practically any shape and provide the flexibility for interior spaces for cabling, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and fire protection systems that are easy to access for maintenance and repair.
The corrosion and fire-resistant nature of steel also play a significant role in structures of the future, where the focus is on cleanliness, microstructure control, advanced thermo-mechanical controlled rolling processes, and innovative rolling technologies comes into play. Such forward thinking and developments are key to the evolution of steel materials and manufacturing. Architects, designers and engineers play a critical role in challenging the industry to continue pushing the envelope of steel properties and rolling technologies.
ASC Steel Deck is committed to providing the highest quality products and services in the steel deck industry. With extensive independent testing by an accredited third party, we ensure our products comply with today’s stringent building codes. Click HERE to learn more about our products.