A newly released report from the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics), “The Plastics Market Watch Report,” predicts that the demand for plastic materials in building and construction is set to increase.

According to the report, plastic materials already have a strong presence in the market, with plastics being used in insulation, wall and floor coverings, piping and wiring. The report finds that builders choose those materials for their many benefits over other products, including things like corrosion resistance, improved strength to weight ratio, design flexibility, sustainability and cost efficiency.

“Judging from the scope of the building and construction market, the opportunities for plastics abound and forecasts show more opportunity on the horizon,” says Plastics chief economist Perc Pineda. “For example, homes for sale inventory can barely keep up with demand, housing and new project starts are on the rise—forecasting a 9.5 percent and 2 percent year-over-year increase for 2018 and 2019—and U.S. infrastructure upgrades are long overdue. All of these trends will ultimately benefit plastics.”

The association reports that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 infrastructure report card awarded American infrastructure a “D” grade. This means U.S. infrastructures exhibit “significant deterioration,” with a “strong risk of failure.” However, Plastics also notes that the integration of plastic materials into infrastructures has already been successful, with the Utah State’s Buried Structures Laboratory showing that PVC piping has the lowest overall failure rate compared to traditional alternatives, like steel and iron.

“Our industry has a compelling story to tell about plastics’ success in building and construction—comprised of notable accomplishments in infrastructure projects, energy efficacy efforts and innovative design,” says Plastics president and CEO William R. Carteaux. “It’s time that we tell those stories to audiences ranging from architects and home builders to municipal water managers and building engineers to open the door for more opportunity to show the power of plastics.”

Officials for the association say that with growing trends like prefabricated construction, smart buildings and zero energy design, the demand for plastic materials should continue to grow.

“Plastics continued education in the building and industry sector and among consumers will be vital to the future use of plastic materials in building and construction,” Says Pineda.

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