The precast concrete industry outpaced the overall construction industry’s growth in 2004, according to a report recently issued by the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA).
The international trade association develops its annual Operating Performance Report to offer an industry-wide financial assessment of the precast concrete industry segmented by geographic region.
The report indicates that precast plants in the United States and Canada reported sales volume of $18.5 billion for 2004, a 13 percent increase from 2003. According to the McGraw Hill 2005 Construction Outlook, the entire construction industry grew 9 percent.
NPCA President Ty E. Gable attributes the growth in sales volume to several factors.
“The five biggest sectors of the precast industry all remained steady, while some of the smaller sectors grew substantially,” Gable said.
“The continued strength in the residential housing kept septic tank sales strong. In addition, we saw growth of 26 percent in wall panel components, which indicates that homeowners and commercial building developers are choosing precast panel systems in increasing numbers.”
Other sectors reporting strong growth included grease interceptors used in commercial buildings such as restaurants and schools (up 33 percent and stormwater products (up 10 percent).
While growth occurred in all five geographic regions, the Southeast reported the largest increase (22 percent, with the Northeast following (18 percent). All regions anticipated continued growth in 2005.
The precast industry used an estimated 13.7 million tons of cement in 2004 and produced approximately 48.1 million cu. yds. of concrete. The industry employs an estimated 147,600 people in 3,600 precast plants throughout the United States and Canada.
The Operating Performance Report breaks down sales volume among more than 15 product categories.
For more information, visit www.precast.org.