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Insulation - the sector that keeps on growing

A new report has revealed that the insulation sector is continuing to grow around the world, and should continue to do so at a rapid rate over the next seven years. 
 
The study was carried out by Global Market Insights, a research firm based in Delaware in the US. It found that the global thermal insulation sector is in course for a major expansion that will see its value soar to $34.9 billion (£26.9 billion) by 2024.
 
According to the report, a primary reason for this growth will be the general expansion of the construction industry. Worth $7 trillion in 2015, in 2024 it will be valued at twice that much, and this will be dominated by three of the largest economies in the world as the US, India and China are expected to account for 55 per cent of market share. 
 
The Asian BRICS nations will have a major role to play, as rapid urbanisation and economic development takes place in the two rising countries with populations exceeding a billion people, while the recognition of the need to make buildings energy-efficient is also highly important in terms of its global impact on carbon emissions. But as a major emitter, it is also important that the US improves in this area too.
 
What the survey found was that major driving force in the growth of thermal insulation use was the desire to reduce heat loss through walls, roofs and floors, which collectively account for 70 per cent of heat emitted by buildings. The desire to save energy and reduce carbon footprints are key motivations to invest in insulation. Combined with the easy availability of products, this is acting to drive growth. So too is the ease of installation and technical advances improving the quality of products. 
 
Another factor identified in the report was the increasing use of government help through loans and grants, as well as stricter regulatory regimes. An example of the latter is the European Energy saving regulations. In addition, many companies and organisations around the world have adopted the International Energy Conservation Code, which was introduced in 2012 and has been increasingly used. 
 
The report does not mention any potential impact emanating from the change in US government policy regarding climate change, which has seen it pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. However, one reason for this is that while there may not be any desire on behalf of the Trump administration to promote regulations aimed at cutting emissions and tackling climate change, corporate America has taken the view that climate change is real and is acting accordingly. Moreover, property owners whose homes or business premises have higher energy bills than they otherwise might due to a lack of good insulation will still have an obvious incentive to address the issue, or to ensure insulation is fitted in any new buildings they have constructed. 
 
Here in the UK, landlords and householders might have felt a sense of concern recently about the insulation they have in their properties in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. But the reality is that the kind of retrofitted external cladding seen on tower blocks built in the 1960s and 70s is just one form of insulation, and very different from the kind of thermal insulation that can be fitted in modern buildings, particularly during the construction process. Indeed, it may be that the very growth of the insulation sector means product improvement will encompass major advances in fire-retardant products. 
 
In any case, the Global Insights report shows that the world is busy insulating more, and there is no sign that anything may stop this trend soon. 


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