Global demand for building and construction plastics is poised to grow at a 7% pa, reaching US$57.5 bln in 2019, even as increasing prices of raw materials and tightening environmental regulations associated with the use of plastic materials are likely to restrain growth in the coming years, as per Transparency Market Research. However, more applications in the green building market, coupled with growing demand for bio-based plastics, are expected to open new opportunities for plastics growth. In 2012, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) components were the most widely used building and construction plastics, accounting for about 35% of global demand. PVC is popular for its durability, abrasion resistance and light weight. However, acrylics are expected to grow the fastest over the next few years, thanks to the surface coatings, sealants and adhesives market. Pipes and ducts were the largest segment for plastics in 2012. However, other applications are emerging, including cladding, roofing, waterproofing, reinforcement, flooring and insulation. Insulation was the second-largest application for building plastics in 2012 and should show similar growth in the coming years. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth within the forecast period, on account of increasing usage of door fittings and pipes and ducts, the report suggests. The demand for building and construction plastics in the region is expected to grow at a 7.5% CAGR between 2013 and 2019. Urbanization and changing lifestyles in India, China and Brazil are anticipated to spur market growth in those areas. North America dominated the building and construction plastics market in 2012, followed by Europe. Building renovation is expected to fuel growth in those countries in the coming years.
Plastics are known for their durability, aesthetics, high performance, and easy handling. In building and construction, plastic is mostly used in plumbing fixtures, insulation, doors, windows, bathroom units, railings etc. After the packaging industry, the building and construction industry is the largest consumer of plastics. Plastic is heavily used in fire safety equipment such as in smoke detectors and fire fighting systems in the building and construction sector. The various types of plastics used in building and construction include acrylics, polyethylene, polycarbonates, expanded polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, etc. The main advantages of using plastics in building and construction are sustainability, innovation, cost efficiency, recyclability, and low maintenance. Mostly thermoplastics are widely used in the building and construction industry. The global market for building and construction plastics is expected to grow at a substantial rate. The US and Europe dominate the market on the basis of consumption, while the Asia Pacific region is the fastest growing market. According to the end-use segment of building and construction plastics, pipes and ducts accounts for a major share in the total market, followed by insulation, and doors and fittings. Doors and fittings is the fastest growing end-use segment of building and construction plastics. The industry is primarily driven by growing infrastructure in developing nations and increasing awareness of “green buildings.” Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is mostly used in the construction industry due to its physical properties. Some challenges faced by the industry include environmental regulations and fluctuating raw material prices. However, these challenges can be overcome by maintaining a balance between environmental concerns and technological development and functionality. Due to high crude oil prices and environmental concerns, some companies have already started working on bio-plastics which is expected to witness lucrative opportunities in the near future.
As per Research and Markets, building & construction plastics are organic polymers of higher molecular mass often containing additives. The plastics are preferred as they are light weight and energy efficient. In addition, plastics have several characteristics such as scratch resistance, durability, design freedom and flexibility. These plastics have lower maintenance and range of waste management options. PVC is the most used plastic, finding applications in pipes & ducts, windows & door profiles and roofing. Composite materials are second largest market for and are used in concrete reinforcement and bathroom accessories among others. Acrylics and TPE are expected to grow in the near future due to increasing demand from the construction industry with flexible design. Other types of plastics find applications in roofing, cladding and insulation. Building & construction plastics are used in the infrastructure industry in major applications such as pipes & ducts, insulation, door fittings and others. The other significant applications include cladding, floor and wall insulation, water proofing, concrete reinforcement and windows & door profiles. In addition, there is a huge demand of plastics from this industry. The demand has increased due to various applications in flexible architectural designs and renovation of old buildings. The global building and construction market is growing owing to the continuously increasing population and changing lifestyles, especially in emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil. Growth in the building & construction sector coupled with urbanization in BRIC countries has been driving the global building and construction plastics market in the past few years. However, the price impact of upstream raw materials such as crude oil and feed stock is anticipated to hamper the growth of the building & construction plastics market. Increasing application scope of building& construction plastics in the green building market coupled with rising demand for bio-based plastics are expected to open opportunities for the growth of the market over the coming years.