In 2016, the production volume of crude steel in China reached 808.37 million tons, ranking the first in the world. The production volume of steel structure was over 50 million tons. CRI estimates that by the end of 2016, there had been 3,000 steel structure manufacturers and over 10,000 construction companies in China. They have undertaken a large number of steel structure construction projects. However, in terms of the proportion of the production volume of steel structure in crude steel, China still lags behind. Steel structure accounts for less than 10% of the production volume of crude steel in China, while in developed countries, the proportion is over 25%. Therefore, China’s steel structure market has huge room to grow.
In recent years, both production volume and consumption of steel structure have been growing rapidly. Most steel structures are used in ultra high-rise buildings, industrial plants, sports venues and other public facilities. They are used in many landmarks, such as the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, the new CCTV headquarters, Shanghai Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai International Finance Center and Shenzhen Di Wang Tower. These projects consume a large quantity of steel. The Bird’s Nest alone used 110,000 tons of steel.
The construction industry is a labor-intensive industry. In recent years, China’s labor costs have been quickly rising. Wider use of steel structure will effectively decrease labor costs in the construction industry. One of the advantages of steel structure is its high fabrication rate. More than 70% of construction is completed by sending components of steel structures to construction sites and fabricating them with fastener and bolt. This shortens the project duration and saves labor costs. Compared with ferroconcrete structures, time taken to build a 30-50-floor steel structure can be shortened by 8-12 months and gross costs can be reduced by 10%.
At the same time, with stricter environmental protection policies, traditional concrete buildings are being replaced by fabricated buildings. In Plan for the Adjustment and Upgrading of the Steel Industry (2016-2020), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology put forward a guiding target for the proportion of steel structures in total construction steel. The proportion was raised from 10% in 2016 to over 25% in 2020. It calls for acceleration in the promotion of steel structures. Steel consumption of steel structures should increase from 50 million ton/year to over 100 million ton/year.