The tilt-up and RCF (removable concrete form) segments of the industry will grow significantly in the next 50 years, outperforming the market in general. The tilt-up industry is far from full penetration of the marketplace. In some markets it has a strong presence, in particular in the low- and mid-rise market segments. As knowledge of the system grows, so will its popularity. New architectural treatments will broaden its appeal for a larger spectrum of building types.

The ICF and masonry industries have paved the way for concrete housing. The expertise, workforce, and materials are already in place for rapid growth in the RCF concrete home market. All that is required is for those companies with these essential ingredients to look above grade for opportunities to expand their businesses.

Durability, energy performance, speed of construction, and aesthetics—properties that all of us in the industry have been promoting for years—will help fuel the growth.

Architects will “rediscover” the benefits and the beauty of concrete. This will occur in the use of decorative finishes for walls of structures in addition to flat surfaces. Formliners and exposed aggregate finishes will also increase the popularity of concrete.

Technology will continue to contribute to the growth of the industry by improving the product and simplifying its placement. SCC and its derivatives will be the norm, not the exception. Pumping concrete, from the bottom—from anywhere—will increase, and near-perfect finishes, both in terms of flatness and surface, will be obtained on a consistent basis.

—Ed Sauter

Read more prognostications by industry leaders on the next 50 years of concrete.