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Aggregate Demand for Construction Continues to Grow

The demand for aggregate in Scotland is forecast to grow by an average of 1.17% a year until 2018 with recycled and secondary aggregates taking a 20% market share by 2012, according to new research published by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme).

The Sustainable Use of Resources for the Production of Aggregates in Scotland study has been created to produce an economic model that helps to determine the effect of different influences on the most sustainable resourcing of aggregates in Scotland. It also projects the potential of this supply relative to construction demand, market price and resource availability.

John Barritt, Technical Adviser for Aggregates at WRAP, explains: “This report forecasts further growth in the use of recycled and secondary aggregates, especially in higher value applications such as the production of asphalt and concrete. It’s an important aspect of promoting more sustainable construction methods that the use of recycled and secondary aggregates is optimised across all aggregate applications. The forecast that sustainable aggregates are expected to achieve a 20% market share by 2012 is therefore particularly encouraging.”

Analysing changes in aggregate market price, the cost of waste disposal, the availability of recyclable and secondary resources and the improved processing of primary resources, the report provides a better understanding of the construction aggregate market in Scotland.

Outputs from the detailed report include sensitivity for price changes for aggregates and other economic influences, as well as the range, quantity and relative market shares of the different types of aggregates supplied.

Despite the fact that the future availability of more sustainable aggregates is, to a certain extent, governed by construction and demolition activity, researchers found that by 2018, recycled aggregate for asphalt applications is expected to have achieved a 15% market share, compared to just 5% in 2003. Conversely, the demand for primary aggregates in asphalt is expected to decrease by 10% over the same period. Another key growth area is the provision of recycled coarse aggregates for concrete applications, which is expected to increase from a 3% market share in 2003 to a 13% market share in 2018.

To download a free copy of the report visit

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