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MBMA Study Shows Increases in Market Share for Metal Building Construction

Believe it or not...over 40% of non-residential, low-rise buildings constructed in the US in 2004 were composed of metal building systems.

According to a recent analysis completed by the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), 40.7% of low-rise commercial, manufacturing, community, and ancillary buildings were constructed of metal building systems. This represents a 2.7% increase over 2003. Overall, the 2004 statistics show a significant increase over the last three years, when market conditions were profoundly impacted by the downturn in the economy and the economic aftershocks created by the terrorist attacks on our nation.

"The new numbers underscore steady and consistent improvement," says MBMA Chairman, Harry R. (Bob) Lowe. "And early indicators suggest that this trend may continue in 2005."

In 2001, the market share was 32.9%. That increased in 2002 to 35.5% and jumped to 38% in 2003. Metal building systems have long been recognized as "workhorse" systems that offer durable, economic construction and fast-track delivery. They have often been chosen over traditional building systems for those specific traits. But the systems manufacturers had to overcome the impression that they only offered grey boxy warehouses. So they developed ways to incorporate building materials and architectural elements to create more beautiful buildings. Today's metal building systems incorporate glass, stone, brick, metal, concrete and wood. Metal roofing is available in a far more extensive palette than conventional roof materials - and provides energy and durability attributes that are well documented throughout construction research.

"Today, many people cannot look at a building and know whether it is made of metal or conventional construction materials," states MBMA Assistant General Manager, Charles E. Praeger. "Metal-framed buildings have come from the back street to Main Street in a powerful way in terms of aesthetics, functionality and sustainability."

Of the 40.7% of low-rise buildings that were made of metal systems in 2004, a market share breakdown by end-use categories states the following: -- 43.7% are commercial buildings (retail stores, warehousing/storage, hangars, freight terminals, offices, banks, and auto service centers). -- 30.6% are manufacturing (physical plants, laboratories, manufacturing warehouses, equipment service buildings). -- 16.9% are community buildings (recreation, education, hospital/health care, churches, government buildings, corrections facilities and transportation terminal and service buildings for air, rail and bus). -- 9.8% are miscellaneous buildings (parking garages, commercial labs, greenhouses, and various building retrofit systems.

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