Find out why commercial metal roofing is increasingly in demand

by Brianna Crandall — October 11, 2017 — Demand for metal roofing in commercial building construction applications is projected to advance to 19.0 million squares in 2021, according to a new study covering trends and drivers in the metal roofing market from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

According to the Metal Roofing Market in the U.S. report, the new commercial market will see the more rapid gains, bolstered by growth in office, retail, and lodging construction spending. Metal roofing will see increasing use in such structures as fast-casual restaurants and retail sites due to its durability and minimal maintenance requirements.

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The reroofing segment — which accounted for the vast majority of commercial metal roofing demand in 2016 — will remain the leading application for metal roofing through 2021, supported by a high level of interest in replacing older or worn roofing with more durable metal products. According to analyst Matt Zielenski, “Gains in this application will trail those of the new market, however, due to the high level of reroofing activity in 2016 and the durable nature of metal roofing compared to membrane-based materials.”

Demand for metal roofing in all applications is forecast to advance 2.0% per year to 28.0 million squares in 2021, valued at $3.5 billion. In 2016, reroofing activity was at an elevated level due to a number of severe weather events that affected large swaths of the USA, since the heaviness and durability of metal roofing products make them highly resistant to the damaging effects of hurricanes and severe storms.

Another reason for the increased popularity of metal roofing is the current strong interest in energy efficiency, since light-colored metal roofing can deflect sunlight and minimize heat transfer, keeping buildings in warmer areas cooler in the summer. Insulated metal panels can also be installed to prevent heat loss and keep buildings warmer where winter conditions are particularly harsh.

Additionally, the increasing lack of skilled tradespeople in construction is expected to boost the specification of prefabricated metal buildings and components — such as roof assemblies — by contractors and architects since these units can be quickly erected by a small work crew.

Metal roofing pricing will advance at a moderate pace going forward due to the increasing use of low-cost natural gas as a power source and continued access to low-cost imported raw materials.

The Metal Roofing in the U.S. by Product, Market and Subregion report is available for purchase from The Freedonia Group Web site.