The building industry is notably traditional by nature in terms of approach and route to market, but there have been some changes in product offerings to meet changing requirements.
Due to the conventional sort of industry we operate in, changes tend to be driven by external forces, from huge national crises such as the recession to trends such as the snowballing sustainability ethos.
Eco-building has taken the industry by storm, shaping a lot of the innovation we have seen in the past 10 to 15 years.
Achieving success in concrete requires a constant balancing act between adhering to the traditions of the industry and steering industry innovation forward. Investment in research and development plays a central role, enabling manufacturers to continue offering new and exciting products.
There is certainly room for growth in concrete and much of this has been left relatively unexplored, perhaps because of how traditional the industry is. There is opportunity for us as suppliers to take responsibility to move the industry forward by contributing with new products that offer new benefits to new markets.
“There is certainly room for growth in concrete and much of this has been left relatively unexplored”
The main product that has substantial growth potential is permeable paving, given all the attention to flood management.
It is already widely used across various applications and specified broadly by different sectors, but there is further opportunity here to increase uptake, especially among homeowners in light of recent regulations and flooding guidelines.
In terms of concrete application, machine-laying technology offers a large area of opportunity. Specifiers are beginning to realise the increased time and cost efficiency of machine laying.
If this becomes more widely adopted, there will be an increase in offerings of flexible tailored packages, which are bespoke to customer requirements.
Rob Taylor is UK director at Kilsaran International