Precast methods to maintain lead in growing sound wall sector

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Freedonia researchers see precast concrete commanding an even more dominant share of the sound wall market.

Rural and suburban residential and commercial development, especially in close proximity to highways, will sustain demand for outdoor noise barriers in the U.S., where annual growth through 2019 is forecast to rise 3.7 percent, to 9.5 million square feet. Outdoor Noise Barriers, a five-year outlook from Cleveland market researcher The Freedonia Group, finds highways accounting for the vast majority of installations, and concrete structures holding a commanding 92 percent share against plastic, metal and wood product alternatives.

Researchers track 10 years of concrete shipments in the outdoor noise barrier market, estimating a 1.3 percent annual growth rate from 2009–2014, or 6.8 million to 7.25 million square feet installed; and, a 3.9 percent growth rate through 2019, which will see a projected 8.8 million square feet of structures completed. Precast concrete panels, which accounted for the largest share of outdoor noise barrier demand in 2014, will continue to take share from concrete masonry units and cast-in-place methods.

With highways representing the vast majority of outdoor noise barrier installations, Freedonia Analyst Matt Zielenski observes, “[Departments of Transportation] generally install noise barriers along highways and roads because of their moderate cost compared to other sound mitigation strategies and their proven ability to reduce traffic noise.” Once installed, he adds, outdoor noise barriers seldom require replacement or repair.

Metal products account for the second-largest share of outdoor noise barriers, primarily due to their extensive use in airports. After concrete, however, plastic noise barriers are anticipated to see the most rapid demand growth among outdoor noise barrier products through the forecast horizon. —


16 Graph 400“Fencing Market Analysis By Material (Metal, Wood, Plastic & Composite, Concrete), By Application (Residential, Agriculture, Industrial) And Segment Forecasts To 2022” paints a stable outlook for one of the major growth segments in precast, masonry and cast-in-place concrete of the past two decades. The report projects concrete fencing to attain a 5.5 percent compounded annual growth rate from 2015 through 2022, matching the overall segment’s forecast growth over the next eight years—to $32 billion globally.

Increasing real estate development, home building and remodeling activities are expected to drive revenue over the forecast period. Commercial sectors such as schools, colleges, and industrial premises have been adopting fencing products to enhance security and safety. “Fencing Market Analysis” segments by North America and three overseas regions; concrete, metal, wood plus plastic and composite materials; and, residential, industrial and agricultural applications. — Grandview Research Inc., San Francisco;