The suspended ceiling and partitioning sector within the UK have been a constant for years. Suspended ceilings, or dropped ceilings, have been a constant feature of commercial buildings for years and it’s unlikely you’ve never had the experience of working beneath one. However, there are challenges to this sector that you might not expect, one of which being the covid-19 pandemic. We were all affected by the pandemic in one way or another, and business industries globally took a hit when restrictions and dictates regulated every aspect of their dealings. The ceiling and partitioning sector took a particularly big hit, with around a 16 per cent decline due to the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Slow but Steady Decline
The poisoning of the suspended ceiling and partitioning sector by covid-19 was a slow and steady one. The effects were not obvious immediately but once they came to light, it was evident that the potential impact could be deadly to the industry. One seasoned provider, Western Industrial, acknowledged that there has been a particularly noticeable downturn in construction and refurbishment projects of commercial buildings that typically implement suspended ceilings and partitions.
In these various commercial buildings, the installation of suspended ceiling and partitioning elements is part of the final stages of completion. As the pandemic stopped the activity of all construction, the effects eventually rippled to reach the final fixing elements. Therefore, the impact of covid on these types of installations took considerably more time to become apparent. Regardless of how slowly these effects began to be noticed, the impact is now plainly clear. 2020 was the year that construction work, along with the suspended ceiling and partitioning sector, came to a sudden stop. And the road to recovery was not a quick and easy one.
Slow but Steady Recovery
Not all hope was lost for the industry. Despite the toughening of rules and regulations throughout the year of 2020, the gradual easing of restrictions as covid cases began to decline brought much needed relief to the sector of construction. With certain guidelines in place, construction work could resume and slowly but surely the industry began its journey to recovery. No recovery journey is linear, and neither was the recovery of the construction sector. However, the growth and repair has continued to pick up momentum to the point that figures are averaging at their normal levels.
Besides the total shutdown of the construction industry, changes to the workplace as a whole is having an effect too. People are more likely to work from home now meaning that the market outlook for commercial building construction has changed so much. At the same time however, as industries rethink their work patterns there are improvements being made to the workplace which may prove to be an opportunity for construction businesses. Online working is not for everyone so it remains to be seen how exactly the changes of the last few years will play out.
The Future is Bright
Despite a rocky few years, the future looks bright. The suggested prospects for the UK ceiling and partition marker are still positive, with growth expected to reach about £335 million in the next three years. Focus has shifted to creating light and airy natural workspaces with eco-friendly options and smart building controls. These changes are opening up new opportunities for the construction industry all the time, especially has hygiene friendly tiled ceilings grow in demand and partitions for open plan office spaces become more popular. In spite of everything that could have held it back, the industry is beginning to pick up pace once again.