Bricks, Blocks, & Pavers

As Quoted In Concrete Products

A recovery in construction expenditures, particularly in new housing, will be the primary driver of gains as the brick, block and paver market continues to rebuild from declines since 2006.

US demand to rise 8.8% annually through 2018

Demand for bricks, blocks, and pavers in the United States is forecast to rise 8.8 percent per annum from a low 2013 base to $8.9 billion in 2018. A recovery in construction expenditures across all market segments will be the primary driver of gains as the brick, block, and paver market continues its improvement from declines related to the 2006 collapse of residential construction and subsequent economic recession. Rebounding new housing construction will have a particularly significant impact on demand growth.

Bricks to be fastest growing product segment

Bricks, typically made of clay, will see the most rapid growth of any product, driven by the expected robust increases in new housing construction. Brick is used primarily as a siding material on residential buildings, most intensively in the single-family segment. After suffering steep declines following the 2006 collapse in housing construction, demand for brick remained low in 2013. Through 2018, demand is projected to rise at a double-digit annual rate.

Structural block to grow at strong pace

Demand for structural blocks is concentrated in nonresidential markets, where they are used both in foundations and in above-grade walls. Although residential buildings do not use structural block as intensively, foundations in such buildings represent a second important market for structural block. Spending on structural block is projected to grow at a strong annual pace, driven by rebounding building construction expenditures. Competition from other materials such as poured concrete foundations will prevent stronger advances.

Pavers to pace healthy industry average

Pavers and outdoor wall block are used in various hardscaping applications in residential, nonresidential, and nonbuilding markets. Many buildings use retaining walls to support earth or part of the weight of structures in areas where sloped land presents a danger of erosion. In addition, increasing interest in aesthetically pleasing features such as terraced landscaping and paver patios and walks will continue to support demand for hardscaping products across many markets. Interest in “green” building materials such as permeable pavers or products made from recycled plastics will also support sales of hardscaping products. Demand for pavers and outdoor wall block is concentrated in improvements and repairs, particularly in the residential market; consequently, sales of these products will not be boosted by rebounding new building construction and growth will not be as robust as that for brick. Through 2018, demand for pavers is projected to rise at a strong, industry-average rate, while that for outdoor wall block is projected to rise at a slightly slower pace than pavers.

Study coverage

Details on these and other key findings are contained in the Freedonia industry study, Bricks, Blocks & Pavers. This study presents historical demand data (2003, 2008, 2013) and forecasts (2018, 2023) by product (structural concrete block, brick, pavers, wall block), material, market (e.g., residential building, nonresidential building, nonbuilding), application (e.g., structural, hardscaping, siding, fireplace) and US region. The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 34 industry players, including CRH, Quikrete and Berkshire Hathaway.

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