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Demand for Structure Steel on Construction Projects

Recognizing increased demand for structural steel on construction projects throughout the United States, members of the structural steel industry are taking action to ensure that steel continues to be readily available for every type of project.

Every level of the structural steel supply chain -- producers, service centers, fabricators, and erectors -- has been working with architects, engineers, general contractors and developers to supply steel in a timely manner. Efforts to continue prompt supply of product and services have included:

* Early Involvement - Architects, engineers, contractors and developers are finding that a true key to ensuring that projects run smoothly and their structural steel satisfies project schedules is the early involvement of fabricators in the design and planning process. Early involvement also provides significant cost and schedule benefits by utilizing the expertise of the fabricator early in the project, when the greatest opportunity for capturing value exists. More structural steel industry members are now working with customers under the early-involvement approach than ever before.

* Flexible Solutions - Industry members are also taking a proactive approach to providing flexible solutions for material acquisition through the involvement of steel service centers. Service centers currently stock nearly one million tons of structural products and have become a highly effective resource in assisting in the selection of commonly available structural sections during the design process. As with the early involvement of fabricators, the work of service centers has been instrumental in helping designers and builders complete projects in a timely, cost-effective way.

* Steel Solutions Center - Offered as a no-charge service through the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Steel Solutions Center has aided hundreds of projects in providing conceptual solutions and technical expertise. In addition, the Solutions Center can assist in the identification of section shapes available from area service centers and producing mills. Fielding over 200 inquiries a week, the Steel Solutions Center is the top technical and steel availability resource for fabricators, engineers, architects, owners, developers and other professionals.

These and other industry efforts have combined to ensure that structural steel remains an appropriate and available solution for building projects everywhere. Through every level of the steel industry, capacity exists to meet the needs of domestic construction now and in the foreseeable future.

Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of the American Institute of Steel Construction, notes "More and more, designers and builders are recognizing the value that structural steel brings to their projects, which has driven demand higher. We're pleased to note that industry members have been producing, distributing, fabricating and erecting steel at high levels over the past 12 months. At the same time, all phases of the structural steel industry stand ready to assist customers with new projects and to keep them moving in the timely manner they expect."

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