AMA Research says the UK flat roof waterproofing market is forecast to return to growth, despite the challenges around supply of materials and shortages of roofers.
The impact of Covid-19 has caused an estimated 13% fall in volumes installed of flat roof waterproofing according to the ‘Flat Roof Waterproofing Market Report – UK 2021-2025‘, the latest market report from AMA Research. The company says since 2016, the market for flat roofs has grown largely due to an underlying improvement in newbuild and refurbishment output across the schools, higher education, offices, warehousing, infrastructure buildings and apartment sectors. Until the disruption caused by Covid-19, AMA Research says the annual installed area of flat roof waterproofing had been increasing as construction activity across most key end use sectors had grown, however, in 2020 the area installed declined from around 35 million m2 to 30.7 million m2.
Alex Blagden, Senior Research Manager at AMA Research commented on the current state of the flat roof market: “While there are current issues around disruptions to the building materials supply chain, in particular shortages of a wide range of products and materials, and the shortages of roofers, among other trades, over the medium term to 2025, demand for flat roof waterproofing is forecast to increase. 2021 has seen a surge in construction activity as the UK emerges from Covid-19 restrictions and with a trade agreement with the EU now in place, which has seen investor confidence begin to return across the commercial & industrial newbuild sector.”
AMA Research also points to Brexit and immigration issues which have had an impact on the significant skills shortage among trades and professionals in the construction industry, as a substantial number of workers from EU countries may well have left the UK. The company says the roofing trade is one of the worst affected as current skill shortage occupations for work visa purposes included no construction trades.
There are, however, according to AMA Research, several factors that will sustain some demand for flat roofing systems in the commercial & industrial market, such as the need to increase retail distribution centre capacity: growth in the Build-to-Rent apartment block sector and growing demand for green roofs. In urban areas, AMA Research says factors likely to drive up demand for green roofs include increasing concerns about rainfall run-off, pollution & air quality and lack of private outdoor space, whilst in rural areas, to date, the main driver has been planning requirements demanding that buildings merge with surrounding areas.
Over the medium term to 2025, AMA Research says growth rates for flat roof waterproofing are forecast to increase, with 2021 having seen a surge in construction activity as the UK emerges from the COVID-19 restrictions with a trade agreement with the EU now in place, which has seen investor confidence begin to return across the commercial & industrial newbuild sector.