Shining a Light on Steel Benefits

One of the most anticipated features in the construction industry calendar, the 2022 Focus on Framing seminar, held on the 29 March, was attended by over 100 delegates from across the whole spectrum of the steel construction sector, as well as panels of expert speakers. The only specialist event of its kind, Focus on Framing 2022 brought together leading industry professionals and light steel manufacturers to enhance understanding and share pivotal information and best practice. Hosted once again by he Light Steel Framing Association (LSFA) at the National Conference Centre (NCC) in Birmingham, a packed schedule offered attendees an exciting programme of informative presentations and discussions throughout the day.

Bringing Together the Best of the Steel Sector

A combination of informative talks highlighting the latest changes and innovations in steel usage and manufacturing processes, along with in-depth case studies and networking opportunities, gave delegates an invaluable insight into the fast-track non-combustible solutions driving the delivery of building projects across multiple sectors. Industry leaders from top-tier business names, including Tata Steel, Hadley Group, GTH/Architects, Fusion Steel Framing, voestalpine Metsec, Corehaus, Metstructures, Constructsteel, Modern Method Construction and EOS Framing delivered a wide range of subject matter and talking points throughout the programme. With presentations given by those involved with operations, technical management, engineering, business development, and more – speakers offered attendees a wide range of information and perspective on the hot topics affecting the steel industry today.

The event opened with an introduction from Light Steel Frame Association Chairman Mike Fairey, followed by the headline exhibitor audience address delivered by Craig Johnson, Business Development Manager (Steel Segment) of the Structures Division at industrial technology leaders Trimble. Morning presentations covered steel in the global market, decarbonisation drivers, and technical support within construction, amongst other topics. The focus for the afternoon turned to the evolution of Thruwall and engineered light steel foundations. Case studies covered examples of residential, luxury apartments, and student accommodation projects.

Spotlight on Sustainability and Zero Carbon

Sustainability, decarbonisation and the zero-carbon agenda were all high-priority topics across the day. The concerns surrounding climate change and the impact of energy output throughout the steel industry are prompting professionals within the construction sector to pursue decarbonisation pathways. With steel widely recognised as one of the most prominent materials within the built environment, Focus on Framing highlights those at the forefront of pushing the UK zero carbon message. As the industry continues to look for solutions to the challenges presented by changes to Building Regulations, Focus on Framing further showcased the industry-wide commitment to driving environmentally focused construction practices.

The UK government's net zero policy and three-part stepped-approach to zero carbon featured in the talks of Peter Hodson of Tata Steel during 'Decarbonisation Drivers in the Steel Sector', and Brian Alborough of GTH/Architects who delivered 'Framing Zero Carbon - The Case of Existing Buildings.' John Plummer, Chartered Structural Engineer, Modern Method Construction, also drove home the sustainability benefits of steel with his presentation, 'Engineered Lightweight Steel Foundations - A Sustainable Support for All Forms of Modern Construction.'

Looking to the Future of Framing

Following the success of his presentation, 'The Changing Prominence of Technical Support within Construction' as part of the speaker programme at the seminar, Stephen Hall, Principal Engineer at Hadley Group, said of Focus on Framing: 

"The 2022 event was my first 'Focus on Framing' as both attendee and speaker, and I'm happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a privilege to present and represent Hadley Group, and great to hear what the other speakers had to say. I was particularly pleased to hear so much on the subject of sustainability, which received positive attention throughout the day." Talking about the benefits of such events to the steel sector, Mr Hall added: "Looking to the future, it would be interesting to see these events evolve into an opportunity to further enhance the light steel industry. Round table discussions with a panel of industry experts would be a fantastic way to use these forums as even more of an opportunity to challenge the future of steel framing and offer guidance to architects, specifiers, and developers in the industry."

The programme was interspersed with Q&A panel discussions, providing the opportunity to deep dive into new and current industry changes and innovations. Nick Coubray, CEO of Howick, presented a second headline exhibitor address delivered as part of the afternoon session. Light Steel Frame Association Chairman Mike Fairey brought the seminar to a close with a final closing summary of what proved to be a hugely beneficial event for all attending.

As the steel industry continues to rise to the challenges and obstacles presented by regulation changes, the Focus on Framing event highlights the work being done to create a legacy of robust, sustainable, and high-performance structures that both enhance quality of living and promote a more environmentally sustainable future. Preparations are underway for Focus on Framing 2023, with opportunities currently available for exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers to position their business alongside those at the forefront of change and innovation.

Will You Be at Focus on Framing 2023?

Focus on Framing has been created for specifiers, engineers, architects, contractors, housebuilders, developers, and manufacturers, exploring steel as a pivotal solution within offsite construction. Focus on Framing 2023 will be bringing together those at the forefront of light steel framing. If you would like to find out more about being part of the next event, either as part of the presentation programme or as an exhibitor, please visit
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