Exteriors

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  • Industry Outlook: Lightweight structures

    Sponsored by IFAI Market Research

    Fabric suppliers see continued economic pressure for the remainder of 2009. Until the economy rebounds, the architectural building market segment will be sluggish. Growth will continue in selected areas of the world experiencing commercial building booms, such as China and Dubai. The industry will continue to consolidate and will emphasize higher quality fabrics where there tends to be a more steady, reliable demand (and better profit margins).

    Manufacturers see slow growth for the U.S. lightweight structures market in 2009, which will be aided by the growth of ‘green' projects and the trend toward using fabric in building projects in place of traditional (and often more expensive and less efficient) materials such as steel and concrete. They feel that the industry will continue to suffer from a shortage of skilled labor.

    Coupled with the increasing cost of raw materials and a slowdown in both commercial and residential construction, these factors will likely continue to drive up the cost of doing business and inhibit business growth. Yet there are opportunities to grow and stay profitable for companies that manage their businesses closely, monitor all costs, and make smart, long-term decisions that focus on optimizing value (emphasizing quality and innovative products) for their customers.

    From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.