Over the past 30 years, the cost of plain steel sections in the UK has decreased dramatically relative to the unit cost of labour (Table 1). The labour-related items, or added value (e.g. drawing, fabrication, erection), constitute approximately 50% of the cost of even the simplest steel framed structure. It is evident, therefore, that the lowest cost steel frame will be the one in which the overall labour content is minimised. This is not to be confused with least weight structural solutions, which very rarely produce the most cost-effective designs.