Strong Growth Projected for Cement Demand Through 2030
Looking beyond the negative impact of the current downturn in housing production, Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association (PCA), is bullish about prospects for U.S. cement consumption through the year 2030.
In the residential sector, demographic factors and growing interest in green building are expected to help push cement consumption to 183 million metric tons by 2030, according to PCA, an increase of nearly 56 million tons over the period beginning in 2006 and representing a 1.5% compound annual growth rate. By comparison, during the 1980 to 2005 period, cement consumption grew by 57 million metric tons at a compound annual growth rate of 2.5%.
The PCA forecast is based upon the assumption that the housing stock will reach 155 million units by 2030 and that annual housing starts will average roughly 1.85 million throughout the 25-year period. “The anticipated increase in population of 63 million persons will result in more additional demand for housing, commercial buildings, public buildings and infrastructure — all boosting demand for cement consumption,” according to PCA.
Energy and environmental concerns will play a growing role in the construction materials used in home building, says PCA, which will be good for cement demand because of the superior energy performance of concrete wall systems.
According to a PCA study, houses built with insulating concrete form walls (ICFs) can require up to 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable frame homes. This translates into a savings of about 1.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Assuming that the average life of a home is 50 years, this translates into a lifetime savings of 92 metric tons of carbon dioxide per home built with ICFs. Taking into account the addition carbon dioxide emitted due to higher volumes of cement associated with ICF home building, over its lifetime an ICF home saves a net 72 tons in emissions — nearly a five-time payoff over the increased emissions associated with increased cement production for the home.
Approximately 77 million BTUs of energy is used per home annually for heating and cooling, or four tons of carbon dioxide per home.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential carbon dioxide emissions were an estimated 1.2 billion metric tons in 2005 — accounting for 21% of total emissions. Roughly 40% of residential energy consumption — or more than 500 million metric tons of emissions — was attributed to heating and cooling.
The cumulative carbon dioxide savings associated with heating and cooling resulting from ICF home construction will reach 15 million metric tons by 2030, PCA says, as the green properties of cement lead to greater use of ICFs in home building.
PCA expects the share of these wall systems used in home construction to eventually reach 30% of the market by 2030, compared to a 7% share in 2005.
Concrete Can Do That — Take the Technologies Tour and See How
NAHB’s 2008 Concrete Technologies Tour gives attendees an inside look at the residential concrete industry and a chance to see the latest production techniques and building trends up close.
Concrete is cost-effective and green and is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors of the residential building industry.
The upcoming tour will be on June 1-3 in Charlotte, N.C.
For more information, visit www.nahb.org/ConcreteTour.
Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April
Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.
Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.
For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.
Want to Know the Housing Forecast for the Top 100 Metros?
Find out in HousingEconomic.com’s 2008 to 2009 Metro Forecast (free preview).
Get the metro forecast with in-depth analysis, overviews and downloadable Excel tables.
To learn more, visit www.HousingEconomics.com.
Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown
What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.
To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.
To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.
For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.