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Synthetic decking manufacturers have staked future sales and profits on the performance and growth of ultra-low maintenance (ULM) decking, including capped composites and cellular PVC. These new products have gained rapid acceptance by consumers despite a high price point, with most products retailing for over $3.00 per lineal foot.
Will the high price point limit the product's use to the upper end of the market? Will the products perform as advertised? Several manufacturers and/or wholesale distributors aren't betting the future on these products.
Joe G. Brooks, the founder and CEO of Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (AERT) has a different perspective for the future. Mr. Brooks will present "Seeking the Holy Grail of ULM Decking: New Nanotechnology Developments" at Principia's executive conference WPC 2011 - Decking and Outdoor Living Products, at the Charlotte Marriott City Center in Charlotte, NC on October 3-4, 2011.
Mr. Brooks' presentation may be viewed as provocative, as he will present a contrarian view about the future of the synthetic decking business. Based on his extensive industry experience, he believes that capping and covering WPC decking cores with higher priced, dissimilar plastic compounds, while avoiding the underlying scientific deficiencies, will not really solve the legacy issues with composite decking.
Furthermore, Mr. Brooks' concern is the ever-increasing price points of PVC and capped WPC decking will limit market penetration due to the elasticity of demand and substitution with wood decking. He cites limited market acceptance of WPC fencing products as an example of what happens when price spreads between composites and wood get too high and consumers do not perceive the value.
Mr. Brooks stated, "Advancements in new plastics reformulating technologies combined with emerging nanotechnologies represents a quantum leap forward in commercializing an entirely new generation of ULM products offering superior performance at a more attractive price point. In addition, several of these new technologies will also spur extensive innovation and market acceptance into other product categories."
Steve Van Kouteren, Conference Chair, said, "We are pleased to welcome Mr. Brooks to the conference program. Such a presentation from a longstanding industry veteran will certainly inject a buzz into the audience and provide material for a lively industry discussion on these issues. Mr. Brooks' presentation will be in Hot Topic #2 - Synthetic Decking Performance and Value."
About Principia Conferences
Headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Principia Conferences is a part of Principia Partners, a leading boutique strategy consulting firm that serves the broad building products and construction materials industry as well as other materials-related industries. For more information, visit the company's web site at PrincipiaConsulting.com.
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