US demand to rise 7.6% annually through 2017
US demand for insulation is projected to advance 7.6 percent annually to $10.3 billion in 2017. Growth will be driven by an increase in building construction spending from a low 2012 base. Gains will also be boosted by changes in building codes and construction practices that call for structures to use energy more efficiently. Such measures as the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the most recent Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design set of codes -- LEEDv4 -- will spur construction professionals to add more insulation to reduce energy consumption.
Residential market to post double-digit annual growth
The residential market is forecast to post double-digit insulation demand advances through 2017, spurred by a strong rebound in housing starts. Not only will more houses be erected, but builders will install more insulation per structure in order to comply with the 2012 IECC. Residential insulation demand will also be supported by efforts to upgrade insulation in existing houses. Some homeowners will opt to reduce utility bills by adding insulation to attics and walls and sealing gaps to prevent air leaks.
Nonresidential market to benefit from LEED rating
Demand for insulation in the nonresidential market will see solid growth through 2017, spurred by strong advances in nonresidential building construction expenditures. Further advances will come from increasing interest in green building practices, such as those put forth by the LEED rating system, that call for the use of more insulation with higher R-values. Builders and designers will use more insulation to reduce energy consumption. Not only does this reduce utility bills, but many business owners find an environmentally friendly reputation to be important in attracting consumers.
Fiberglass to remain most common insulation material
Fiberglass insulation accounted for 47 percent of insulation demand by value in 2012. Fiberglass insulation will remain the market leader in 2017, with demand reaching $5.0 billion. Growth in building construction expenditures will stimulate demand. The material’s low cost, insulative properties, fire resistance, and ease of installation make it a popular choice with both construction professionals and do-it-yourself homeowners.
Foamed plastic insulation to gain market share in residential market
Demand for foamed plastic insulation, which accounted for the second largest share of the market in 2012, is forecast to grow to $4.6 billion in 2017. Rebounding building construction spending will boost demand. These materials have traditionally been used more extensively in the nonresidential market, as many builders and designers opt for foamed plastic products because of their high R-value. However, the residential market will offer solid growth prospects going forward, as code changes that call for houses to be better sealed to prevent air leaks will boost the use of these products in spite of their higher costs than fiberglass insulation. Foamed plastics are well suited for sealing hard-to-reach areas, such as crawl spaces and between walls.