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Building Products: Complete Sector Overview

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Building Products Industry Trends

Building products consist of a wide range of specialty products used for residential and non-residential construction. The category includes building materials like concrete and stone, electrical and plumbing fixtures, windows and doors, roofing and cabinetry. Rising green construction means that companies now also offer products that are designed to be both fit for purpose and able to improve sustainability.

Campagnie de Saint-Gobain, CRH Plc and Holcim Ltd. are three of the largest manufacturers of building materials. 

Key Market Segments

Important building products used in the construction process consist of roofing materials, windows and doors, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), and plumbing products:

Roofing products include bituminous, wood, metal, plastic and tile roofing used in residential and non residential construction. Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing material used in the North America. The demand for roofing is projected to rise in the near future, especially in the leading construction markets like the USA, where it will rise to more than 250 million squares worth over $21 billion.

The windows and doors market includes metal, wood and vinyl windows and doors. Demand for these products is expected to be driven by new commercial and residential construction as well as repair and remodel spending. This demand is likely to drive the global demand for these products to more than $200 billion in the near future. China was the world’s largest windows and doors market in a recent year, when it accounted for one third of the global demand.

Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment is another major set of products used in residential, commercial and industrial construction. New minimum energy efficiency standards and corresponding tax credits are driving replacement demand for HVAC products in some developed countries. Demand from emerging countries in Asia is also driving the HVAC equipment market. These factors are expected to drive the global market to about $120 billion.

Plumbing fixtures, bathtub and shower fixtures, and indoor pipes make up the plumbing segment. Demand for plumbing products for replacements is especially high in the residential construction sector. Repair and renovation, together with new construction, are likely to increase the worldwide demand for these products to nearly $86 billion.

The building products industry also encompasses the smart homes market.

Regional Market Shares

Growth in construction is likely to create a global market of more than $12 trillion by 2020. As such building products, which are critical components of buildings, are likely to see growth in the buoyant construction markets of the USA, China and Japan:

The USA: Construction is a huge market in the USA and therefore the market for building products is also extremely large. Additionally, house repair and remodeling spend has reached over $150 billion, which has further fuelled the US building products industry. Components such as plumbing fixtures and fittings have a market value of over $10 billion and are expected to grow to more than $12 billion in the foreseeable future. Demand for asphalt, one of the more important building materials, is expected to grow soon to about 26 million tons.

China's demand for building materials and products has grown rapidly, supported by its strong construction business. For instance, windows and doors are a RMB 380 billion ($60 billion) industry which is expected to grow to over RMB 500 billion ($79 billion) in the near future. There is strong demand for high-quality HVACR products in China, which imports 60% of its total needs from German, Japanese, American and Korean manufacturers.   

Japan is another key market for building materials owing to its huge construction industry. Environment-friendly and heat resistant products are in high demand in this country.

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