Brick and Structural Clay

BRICK & CLAY RECORD: Brick by Brick

A new report from the BIA offers details on brick shipment data and analysis, as well as brick's value to the industry, wall share analysis, and expanded data on competing materials.

As part of its new Knowledge Capital Program, the Brick Industry Association (BIA) recently launched the first edition of its Annual Brick Industry Report. The new report replaces the annual Sales and Marketing Reports that were produced in prior years.

"In today's hyper-competitive building materials climate, we cannot afford to base decisions on personal opinions or partial facts," said Dick Jennison, president and chief executive officer of the BIA. "That is why the new Knowledge Capital program and reports like the newly enhanced Annual Brick Industry Report are such vital components to the future success of our industry. The BIA is the industry's national source for technical, marketing and regulatory information, and it is imperative that we continue to invest resources into programs that help our members-and the industry at large-build a solid foundation for sound, fact-based decision-making."

In addition to reporting on shipment data and analysis, the new report includes information on construction activity, brick's value to the industry, residential and non-residential wall share analysis, and expanded data on competing materials, as well as information on construction trends. Some selected findings are included below.

Construction Activity

On the residential side, including new single family and multi-family, total housing starts in 2005 topped two million units, with the South accounting for nearly 50% of housing starts. The cities with the largest number of single family home permits in  core brick markets were Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Washington, D.C. New York City experienced a large number of multi-family new home permits.

On the non-residential side, 2005 contract awards grew after declining from 2001-2004, with construction activity reaching almost 1.4 billion square feet. The South represented over 40% of all non-residential contracts.

Shipment Activity and Industry Value

Based on independent research among brick manufacturers, distributors and masonry firms, the brick industry contributes over $20 billion each year to the U.S. economy. Although brick shipments grew between 2002-2004, shipments in 2005 experienced a slight decline (less than 1%) compared to 2004.

Approximately 80% of brick shipments continue to be used for residential applications, and over a third of all brick shipments went to the South Atlantic region. Texas, North Carolina and Georgia continue to account for the largest brick shipments among the states, with 15.1, 10.1 and 9.6% of brick shipments in 2005, respectively.

Market Share of Wall Area

Out of the 17 “core brick" metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) studied in 2005, the brick share of residential wall area ranged from 13 to 53%. On the non-residential side, the brick share of wall area, on a national level, was approximately 19%. However, the share of wall area ranges widely depending on building application. For example, brick enjoyed over 50% share of wall area on educational buildings and less than one tenth of that share on manufacturing/warehouse applications.

For additional information regarding the BIA and its programs, visit


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