This report assesses the market for manufactured board products used on both internal and external building works, focusing on those with higher performance properties relating to thermal insulation, fire protection, moisture and impact resistance. The types of building boards covered in this report are as follows. Rigid and semi-rigid polymer boards -mainly for thermal insulation, but also niche applications such as laminate flooring underlay. Gypsum plasterboards – mainly for drylining and permanent partitions. Specialist (building) boards – made from range of materials and used in broad range of internal and external applications. Not included are standard boards of plywood, particleboard and OSB, nor decorative panels used for applications such as washroom cubicles.
2017 has seen some slowing of growth in construction activity leading to more modest growth in the building boards market. This follows the building boards market showing substantial recovery from the economic recession that followed the financial crisis of 2007/8, with particularly rapid growth between 2013 and 2016. Demand for building boards is primarily driven by developments in new housing, commercial newbuild and, to a lesser extent, domestic extensions & loft conversions and non-domestic refurbishment.
Other factors driving growth are the trend towards specifying more value-added, higher performance, products in preference to standard alternatives and the increasing use of newer methods of accelerated construction, including timber frame building and offsite modular construction, which favour the use of higher performance insulation, lining or sheathing boards.
Going forward, forecasts are for steady growth through to 2022, reflecting modest forecast growth in the construction industry overall, though the impacts from political or economic events, particularly those relating to the UK’s departure from the EU, mean that the prospects for construction output remain clouded by uncertainty.