Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement and Paving Slabs Gained Market Strength in the U.S and Canada

According to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s (ICPI) 2019 Industry Sales Profile, newer segmental concrete paving products, including permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) and concrete paving slabs, saw substantial gains in Canada and United States last year.

Emile Court Residence | Photo Courtesy of icpi.org/project-profiles/emile-court-residence

In comparison to 2017 sales, PICP gained almost 4 per cent in the U.S. and about 10 per cent in Canada. Concrete grid paving units experienced an almost 3 per cent gain in the U.S. and nearly 10 per cent in Canada. In both countries, concrete paving slab sales increased by almost 5 per cent.

The ICPI sates that these 2018 product sales are contrasted with a 0.6 per cent reduction in U.S. and Canadian sales for widely used interlocking concrete pavers of varying thicknesses.

Concrete paver sales for both countries were projected from the survey results at 747.0 million square feet.

As reported by the ICPI, this equates to per capita use in Canada at 2.27 square feet, and 2.03 square feet in U.S.

“The increase in PICP sales is supported by greater regulation of stormwater runoff. The increase in paving slabs sales come from demand for more restful, stone-like paving patterns that enhance residential projects,” said Kendall Anderegg, ICPI Chair. “Growth in PICP for mostly commercial uses and slabs for residential applications offer homeowners, businesses, and governments the most durable, cost-effective, safe and attractive pavement option.”

The ICPI’s report details products for residential use represented 80.2 per cent of sales, while commercial applications comprised 10.2 per cent of sales. Public/government and industrial sales were 7.6 per cent and 1.9 per cent.

While paving slabs were the second-most popular product (9.6 per cent), interlocking concrete pavers comprised 81.7 per cent of products sold by survey participants.

The Industry Sales Profile reports PICP represented 6.6 per cent of sales, followed by concrete grid pavers at 0.4 per cent and other products at 1.5 per cent.

The study came from survey responses from 25 manufacturers representing 25 per cent of the producing companies in the U.S. and Canada.

These companies, according to the ICPI, own nearly 54 per cent (140) of the paver producing machines, as well as 22 slab-producing machines in the two countries.

A skilled workforce shortage has also been identified in other ICPI studies, which led the Institute to launch a workforce development program to engage young people into hardscape construction and train new recruits.

“While ICPI continues emphasizing programs in support of member sales, we are becoming the catalyst in meeting the workforce shortage,” said Anderegg. “Three of every four contractors who have participated in recent studies by ICPI have indicated that their top business obstacle is recruiting and retaining qualified employees. In response, we’ve created a multi-faceted program to attract young people into the installation/contracting business and teach them the skills they need to succeed in installation and hopefully manage a contracting business someday.”

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