Demand for wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber, used in decking, railing, trim and other building materials, is projected to rise 13% per year until 2015, according to a report from The Freedonia Group. Advances will be driven by a rebound in construction expenditures from a depressed 2010 base, and growth will be boosted by increasing consumer demand for building products made from composite and plastic lumber, instead of more traditional materials, such as natural wood, according to the Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Decking, which was the leading application for composite and plastic lumber in 2010, will experience the greatest increase in demand through 2015. Other growth areas will include molding and trim and windows. Demand for wood-plastic composite lumber will post more rapid gains than that for plastic lumber through 2015, advancing more than 16% annually to $2.5 billion. Gains will be driven by ongoing consumer interest in composite lumber as a substitute for natural wood products in such applications as decking and fencing. Because wood-plastic composite lumber incorporates recycled materials, it will be seen as an environmentally friendly building material.
Plastic lumber demand is forecast to rise nearly 11% per year to $2.8 billion in 2015. Gains will be spurred by rising consumer interest in the material because of its low-maintenance properties. The efforts of manufacturers to create plastic lumber with more realistic wood grain textures and surfaces will also support demand.