Building Material Shortage Affecting Construction Industry

Members within the construction industry are eager to get planned, ongoing, and delayed projects com
House Builder Guide Section
June 30, 2021

Members within the construction industry are eager to get planned, ongoing, and delayed projects completed. However, there has been a major obstacle that has caused serious concern for those with a tight budget and limited timeline; a major shortage in building materials.

Delays on developments have directly driven up the price of bricks. Forecast predictions from The Construction Products Association (CPA) said it expected construction output to rise by 12.9% this year and 5.2% next, however, this demand cannot be met if materials aren’t available.

What is the cause of this shortage? The Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the impact of Brexit, has had a major impact on supply and a surge in demand has appeared both nationally and globally. With the majority of the population spending a significant amount of time within their homes in recent months, a surge of home renovations became evident. This heightened demand is set to continue through to the end of 2021, which means longer lead times and higher prices. To add to this, it’s been confirmed by several companies that there is a forced wait of over 12 months for bricks supply.

When considering elements that contribute to the shortage, one significant factor is the cost of raw materials necessary for brick production. Currently, a global raw material shortage exists due to the global brick demand which has directly inflated the cost of these raw materials. As a result of the pandemic, unexpected obstacles such as the slowdown (or in some cases the closing) of factories both inside and outside of the UK have completely halted the production line.

Here at UK Brick, we have been fortunate in that our current supply has not been impacted, unlike many other suppliers in the country. This is despite the catalog having a wide selection of brick choices and variations. Considering all the above, it has been a significant accomplishment to c ontribute to the development of the recently completed Compton

Residential Complex.

The Compton Residential Complex, commissioned and built by luxury developer, Regal London, in collaboration with E8 Architecture has been shortlisted for the 2021 ArchDaily Building Of The Year and featured in this month’s issue of Bauwelt Praxis. The ten-storey residential building offers 49 apartments in one of London’s most luxurious suburbs; St John’s Wood. The exterior boasts a unique combination of cast aluminum and the unique Mid Grey Linear brick.

This exceptional design is reflected through the choice of materials as the distinctive earthy tones of the linear waterstruck brick compliments the use of cast aluminium with imprinted leaf patterns surrounding the exterior of the building.

The finalising of projects on the scale and magnitude of The Compton Residential Complex will be a challenge to many this year and will likely result in even further delays meaning project end dates may be pushed even into 2022.

As vaccine rollouts continue and the promise of the return to ‘normal’, we anticipate a tentative restoration in the availability of stock within the coming year. We do however recommend extending your timeline when planning any home modifications this year!

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