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HTML clipboardInsulation to 2012 report ( ) which gives Demand for insulation in the US is projected to increase 6.3 percent annually from a weak 2009 base to 8.7 billion pounds in 2014. Consumption of insulation is heavily dependent on residential markets, particularly new housing construction. The sharp decline in new housing construction from 2006 through 2009 led to a dramatic contraction in insulation demand, despite continued gains in attic reinsulation, nonresidential construction, industrial and HVAC, and other markets. As a result, residential markets accounted for only 42 percent of total insulation demand in weight terms in 2009, down from historical levels of 50 to 55 percent. As new housing construction activity recovers through 2014, demand for insulation will also rebound strongly, and residential markets will once again account for almost 55 percent of demand.

Fiberglass to post fastest gains as housing rebounds
Fiberglass and foamed plastics are the leading insulation materials used in the United States, accounting for more than 80 percent of the total in weight terms and 95 percent in dollar terms. Both materials benefit from their high insulation values and ease of installation. Fiberglass tends to dominate in residential markets, while foamed plastics lead in nonresidential construction. As a result, fiberglass was more heavily impacted by the sharp decline in new housing activity, but will also post more rapid gains through 2014 as new housing construction recovers. Other insulation materials, including mineral wool, perlite, cellulose, vermiculite and a variety of very small volume materials, have niche applications that will keep them viable, although minor, contributors to demand.

Regulatory, environmental trends to benefit demand
A variety of regulatory and environmental trends will also positively impact demand for insulation. For example, while the rising cost of energy in recent years has enhanced the value of insulation in energy efficiency terms, government initiatives (such as tax credits and rebates) have been implemented and more such initiatives are likely. Similarly, the movement toward “green building” and “sustainable building” continues to gain momentum. Factors such as location, price and features still are the most important to potential home buyers. Nevertheless, the construction industry is paying increasing attention to programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), EnergyStar and Greenguard, encouraging builders to use more sustainable and environmentally acceptable products, which include nearly all insulation materials to varying degrees.

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