The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS; Washington, DC) released its latest Market Watch report on building and construction (B&C), revealing that the demand for plastics in B&C is set to grow as the material’s benefits make it the optimal choice for a broad range of applications.
The report indicated that plastics are already a well-established material in today’s B&C sector, serving as the material of choice for applications such as foundations and insulation, wall and floor coverings, piping and wiring. Professionals within the sector choose plastics and engineered composites because of their various uses and benefits over other materials, including corrosion resistance, improved strength-to-weight ratio, design flexibility, sustainability and cost efficiency, said the report.
“Judging from the scope of the building and construction market, the opportunities for plastics abound and forecasts show more opportunity on the horizon,” said PLASTICS Chief Economist Perc Pineda. “For example, homes-for-sale inventory can barely keep up with demand. Housing and new project starts are on the rise—forecasting a 9.5% and 2.0% year-over-year increase for 2018 and 2019—and U.S. infrastructure upgrades are long overdue. All of these trends will ultimately benefit plastics.”
Plastic has already proven its utility in infrastructure projects and is being used to successfully replace failing water infrastructure across the nation. A report from Utah’s Buried Structures Laboratory showed plastic piping (PVC) to have the lowest overall failure rate compared with widely used alternatives like steel and iron, the report noted.
“Our industry has a compelling story to tell about plastics’ success in building and construction—comprised of notable accomplishments in infrastructure projects, energy efficacy efforts and innovative design,” said PLASTICS President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “It’s time that we tell those stories to audiences ranging from architects and home builders to municipal water managers and building engineers to open the door for more opportunity to show the power of plastics.”
Despite the sectors’ embrace of plastics and the material’s expanding presence in a wide range of applications, Pineda noted that “continued education in the building and construction industry sector and among consumers will be vital to the future use of plastic materials” in this market.
The report can be purchased and downloaded as a PDF on the PLASTICS website.