Report suggests single ply market growth is overshadowing bitumen

Single ply membranes are growing in popularity for waterproofing flat roofs according to a new study, which has found that the polymer based systems are gaining market share from bitumen solutions.

According to a recently published report from Applied Market Information (AMI Consulting), a combination of advances in single ply membrane technology and a reduction in bitumen supply has resulted in an increase in specification levels for single ply.
John Nash, editor of the report, said: “After several years of demand being constrained by low levels of construction activity in Europe, we are now seeing significant growth in demand for single ply. The market is shifting towards lighter weight and faster construction techniques which benefits single ply at the expense of bitumen felts.

“The impact of single ply’s share gain on the bitumen roofing specialists has been severe and now many of the stronger ones also sell single ply.”

According to AMI Consulting, bitumen supply has been impacted by reduced availability of heavy refinery fractions. Between 2008 and 2014, 20% of Europe’s bitumen producing refineries closed due to sharply reduced demand and a stronger focus on profitability.

Instead, strong technical innovation in polymeric single ply, resulting in better durability, improved aesthetics, easier installation and improved bitumen compatibility, have led to an increased market share for single ply systems.

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