Lynn Street, Sales & Marketing Manager Midland Lead is BMBI’s Expert for Lead.
Following a generally strong 2019 for the roofing sector, a number of political challenges had a negative impact on the last three months. The general election and fatigue over Brexit almost certainly played its part.
That said, the demand and sale of lead products has increased year-on-year compared with other heavy building materials. Brexit has no direct impact on the way manufacturers source raw materials due to the fact that lead is 99.8% recycled, and therefore fully sustainable.
The roofing and general construction sectors are responding to increased demand from end-users and merchants, for manufacturers and suppliers to provide and, more importantly, prove sustainability. In this, real lead will surpass alternatives when clients and specifiers expect to see certification to evidence green credentials.
It is evident that merchants are embracing a shift in the way that their customers trade with them. E-commerce is increasing within the sector and manufacturers are having to review operations to ensure they can meet the demands of merchants. This can be challenging, but entirely necessary.
Outside of construction, most people’s knowledge of lead tends to be skewed to its use on old church roofs and X-ray radiation protection in healthcare, dentistry, veterinary and industrial environments. However, lead is used widely in construction as the material of choice. It’s impervious to weather, extremely long lasting, versatile, easy to use and can be fitted in all weathers. Due to its sustainable, waterproofing and aesthetic properties, it hasn’t been overtaken by better, newer products, it’s used to retain the traditional look of older buildings, while architects have fallen for its style in contemporary buildings.
Looking ahead to the year 2020, demand for real lead products as a sustainable building material will continue to increase, as the roofing and construction sector regains its composure, following a rocky end to 2019. Lead manufacturers will need to continue to champion lead and provide evidence about efficient processing, packaging and their carbon footprint.