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Nonwovens in Construction

Among the largest durable markets for nonwovens, the roofing and construction market is largely dependent on macroeconomic trends like housing starts, interest rates and employment trends. While the U.S. market has not yet seen the boomtimes of the early 2000s, when housing starts were consistently topping one million, it has slowly started to recover as economic conditions have improved and the housing market has faced shortages. 

“Escalating prices for new homes have grown 5.6% in the 12 months ending in November and were likely driven by a very low inventory of starter homes and historically low interest rates,” says T.J. Stock, portfolio manager of construction specialist Johns Manville. “But builder confidence is at its highest level since July 2005, so 2017 is expected to have a strong growth rate. As growth in housing and commercial markets continues, nonwovens will benefit by supplying both roofing and specialty mats that are engineered to provide the most cost-effective solutions.”

From roof underlayments to house wrap and flashing materials, nonwovens’ role in construction is more often than not one of protector, keeping water out and heat and air conditioning in. Manufacturers supplying to this market are constantly looking to increase the barrier resistance of their products to keep buildings warm, dry and free of rot.