Global Insulation

What will Drive Demand for Insulation Products?

  • advances in nonresidential building construction spending, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region
  • increases in average housing unit sizes and single-family housing starts
  • increasingly stringent energy efficiency and fire safety policies throughout the world
  • the adoption of minimum insulation requirements in developing countries
  • improving income levels and standards of living in developing countries
  • rural to urban migration in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, leading to increased construction in urban areas, where buildings generally use more insulation than those in rural areas
  • rising production of motor vehicles, appliances, aerospace equipment, HVAC equipment, and industrial equipment

China will record by far the largest market gains of any country, accounting for a little less than one-third of the total increase in value terms through 2022.

However, growth in world insulation demand will continue to be restrained by a sizable stock of substandard housing units in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, which together account for more than three-fourths of the world’s population.

Key Findings in the Global Insulation Study:

Building Markets Continue to Drive Global Insulation Demand

In 2017, residential and nonresidential buildings accounted for two-thirds of global insulation market value. Building’s share of the market total is expected to climb through 2022, due in part to increases in construction activity and average home sizes and improving construction practices in developing countries, which often call for greater insulation usage.

Foamed Plastic to Remain the Dominant Insulation Material

Despite the popularity of fiberglass in North America and mineral wool in Eastern Europe, foamed plastic is projected to account for the majority of the market gains globally through 2022. Strong expansion of the insulation market in the Asia/Pacific region – where foamed plastic is the leading material – will help strengthen its leading position through 2022. Additionally, foamed plastic suppliers will benefit from advances in the nonresidential market, which is expected to be the fastest growing, as the nonresidential building market is an intensive user of these products.

Study Coverage

This study presents historical demand data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 and 2027 by material (foamed plastic, fiberglass, mineral wool, other) in dollars and metric tons, by market (residential buildings, nonresidential buildings, industrial and plant equipment, HVAC/air distribution equipment, appliances, transportation equipment, and other) in dollars and square meters R-1, and region (North America, Central and South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa/Mideast). Also shown are net exports and production in dollars on a country-by-country basis. In addition, the study evaluates select company market shares and provides an analysis of major insulation manufacturers such as Saint-Gobain, Owens Corning, ROCKWOOL, BASF, Covestro, Huntsman, DowDuPont, Knauf, Johns Manville, and Kingspan.

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