2009 was a challenging business climate for our industry. Where do you see business going in 2010?
It truly has been what we hope is a once-in-a-lifetime economic situation and as a result we do not see the climate improving as quickly as it may have in the past with more cyclical recessions. Based on the activity we are seeing, we expect the commercial sector to start flattening and in fact have some recovery starting in the second quarter of 2010. The growth is expected to be regional at first and somewhat inconsistent. It will be sluggish and we don’t see what one may consider a full recovery until possibly the latter part of 2011.
What design and technology trends do you see on the horizon for your product segment?
The technological advances will be almost exclusively related to making products more green, from the way a product is manufactured, installed and maintained to how it is disposed of at the end of its life cycle. Design trends will keep mimicking the green movement with a continuation of warm earth tones and greens and cool blues representing the fresh and new.
In what way will green products be an important aspect of business in 2010?
The influence of the USGBC and LEED credits can’t be overstated. The requirements for building materials and practices to earn LEED points will continue to challenge every element in commercial construction. New ways to earn LEED points will evolve as well, such as a LEED Pilot Credit testing to reduce the release of persistent bio-accumulative toxic chemicals associated with the life cycle of building materials. In the case of this pilot LEED Credit, PVC-free building materials gain greater position in the construction market, so our CERES PVC-free flooring products will have greater value to the specifier.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, despite a rather sluggish recovery over the next nine to 18 months. What CBC Flooring brings to the market are good options in a growing number of flooring categories that will address the growing green needs of the marketplace.