New steels for construction

The European construction industry is vital to the European economy: an estimated 26 million workers depend on it, as does economic development overall. Steel is one of the most important structural materials, both in competition with other materials as well as for the new possibilities offered by new types of steel. Almost half the steel produced in the world is used in construction. To exploit the full potential of steel as a construction material, research is needed into new grades of steel, better building components and systems, composite structures, and improved construction technologies. Health and safety are the main performance aspects of steel for the built environment – essential for the security and quality of life of occupants and other users.

ESTEP has identified two main R&D themes that could contribute to boosting the performance of the construction industry and help it meet the many challenges it faces :

  • Safe and healthy steel construction: here, new steels could contribute to better and more secure buildings that improve the quality of life of their inhabitants; for example, new steels to protect against seismic hazards.
  • Sustainable steel construction: where new steels can contribute to more energy efficient buildings and more recycling of building materials.

Through the ' Construction' Working Group (WG3) , ESTEP is very active in the field of infrastructure R&D.

Recent activities

In 2001, ESTEP members submitted a range of proposals for funding from the European Research Fund for Coal and Steel. These cover topics such as sustainability, bridges, earthquakes, fire, and structures and products.

  • ESTEP members are active in the Energy Efficient Buildings European Initiative (E2B EI). This is a PPP which is optimising building and district concepts with the potential to drastically decrease energy consumption and reduce CO 2 emissions in both new and existing buildings across the European Union (EU). See the E2B website
  • ESTEP participates in the FP7 'Building Up' project and during 2011 contributed to a Research and Innovation roadmap to overcome barriers to energy efficient buildings.
    See the Building Up project website
  • ESTEP also helped prepare the strategic research agenda for a new project – reFINE – 'research for infrastructures in Europe'. In the GEO-CLUSTER project ESTEP partners are contributing new approaches and recommendations to tailor energy-efficiency goals to geographic location.
  • The workgroup is also actively helping formulate the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) roadmap for materials within Energy Efficient Buildings.

For more information read the 'Construction' section of the SRA

Last updated on: 2012-06-27