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Global demand for windows is forecast to increase 3.9% per year to $125 billion in 2025, supported by:
- increasing demand for more energy-efficient building products, including higher value windows
- more stringent building codes throughout the world, such as those mandating impact-resistant products in coastal regions prone to severe weather (e.g., tropical cyclones)
- rising interest in replacing older windows with those that are more modern and easier to open
- increasing interest in large casement windows, skylights, roof windows, and curtain wall that let more light into structures while also imparting a unique appearance
Vinyl & Metal Continue to Offer the Best Opportunities for Window Sales
Vinyl and metal will continue to account for the largest shares of absolute gains, though sales patterns differ depending on the level of development in an area’s construction market:
- In higher income countries, vinyl window suppliers have benefited from increasing use of more energy-efficient fenestration products and rising interest in higher value wood-plastic composite windows at the expense of more basic plastic types, which are less able to replicate a wood aesthetic. In developing areas, entry level vinyl windows are seeing gains as building stocks improve and basic metal types are replaced.
- Aluminum products will continue to benefit from rising construction of new building in developing areas, where low cost and durability are the most important factors for consumers when purchasing windows. These products benefit from increases in the number of buildings that are constructed with manufactured fenestration products.
Demand for Windows to Grow Robustly In India
Window demand in India is forecast to increase 11% per year through 2025, the fastest rate of growth of any major market. Growth will come off of a low pandemic-related 2020 base, driven by:
- strong growth in both new residential and nonresidential construction
- increasing adoption of higher value window products, as consumers seek improved performance properties that low-cost aluminum products do not offer
- continued growth in household income levels and urbanization rates
- government efforts to improve the availability of affordable housing and to reduce the stock of informal housing units
- implementation of green building programs, such as the Energy Conservation Building Code for nonresidential buildings
Historical Market Trends
Demand for windows is impacted by a number of factors, including:
- building construction activity
- housing unit and nonresidential building sizes
- improving housing quality and construction methods in developing areas
- changes in energy efficiency regulations
- shifts in regional aesthetic and performance preferences
- growth in urbanization rates
- natural disasters, particularly impacting demand for windows
Year-to-year volatility primarily tracks building construction activity; however, currency effects and major fluctuations in one particularly large market can cause an outsized impact on global demand, resulting in demand growth that can noticeably outperform or underperform the global building construction market.
Demand by Region
Through 2025, global demand for windows is forecast to increase 3.9% per year to $125 billion.
The Asia/Pacific region will account for the largest share of absolute gains through 2025, supported by strong growth in new nonresidential building construction in China, India, and Indonesia. Additionally, improvement and repair activity in the more developed countries in the region will drive demand for higher end windows, boosting value demand.
The Africa/Mideast region is expected to be the fastest growing, supported by:
- a regional rebound in building construction activity
- demand growth in Turkey from a low 2020 base, exacerbated by the country’s currency crisis
- large-scale nonresidential building projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
- the ongoing development of the more populous countries in the region such as Nigeria, Egypt, and Iran
Market maturity in North America and Western Europe will result in slower growth for both regions below the global average. However, these regions will remain the main outlets for high-end window and door products.
Energy Efficiency & Sound Abatement
Performance features – such as insulation, durability, and sound abatement properties – are the most important factors (other than aesthetics) determining window product choice. Energy efficiency is particularly important in regions such as North America and Western Europe that feature strict codes related to the building envelope.
Expanding urbanization in a number of regions has boosted interest in highly durable windows with improved sound abatement and security features (e.g., reinforced glazing and integrated sensors). Growth in urban populations will also continue to drive demand for windows that offer good ventilation and maximize natural light in small spaces.
The use of plastic for windows is a cost effective way to meet many of these performance requirements, as vinyl products are generally more energy efficient and better at insulating sound than wood or metal types. In North America and parts of Western Europe (specifically the UK), suppliers are also seeing rising interest in fiberglass windows, which are stronger and more durable than PVC frames.
In addition to frame material, technologies such as low-emissivity (low-E) coatings, argon gas-filled glass, and triple panes are employed to improve energy efficiency. Research is also underway to develop products with smart glass (i.e., electrochromic glass, dynamic glazing) that can be electronically darkened or lightened.