flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

COVID-19: Principia report tracks impact on lumber and building materials


COVID-19: Principia report tracks impact on lumber and building materials

Most dealers and distributors of lumber and residential building products are still operating, although with some restrictions on supplies and services. 

LBM building materials revenue 2019

Lumber and building materials revenue totaled $72 billion in 2019, according to Principia.

Principia, a provider of business insights to the building materials and business construction industry, tracks $72 billion of residential revenue sold in selected building product categories (roofing, siding, exterior trim, windows, doors, decking, railing, and insulation) through the lumber and building materials (LBM) channel in 2019. Remodeling and repair represented $46 billion (over 64%) of channel revenues, with new construction accounting for $26 billion.

Principia's has issued a bulletin on COVID-19 impact on LBM distribution.



Distributors are open for business, with most states also deeming them essential.

  • Most distributors are not experiencing material shortages, except in areas like personal protection equipment and some stuff from China.
  • Deliveries from suppliers are proceeding apace. Some distributors have heard from dealers that they would like to push April deliveries to May. If this activity is widespread, distributor inventory levels will start rising, leading to a pullback on orders from suppliers.Focusing on inventories and receivables. Distributors are staying in touch with their dealer customers and watching their accounts receivables and destocking efforts at the same time they are watching their own accounts receivables and inventory levels.
  • Distributors are staying in touch with their dealer customers and watching their accounts receivables and destocking efforts.
  • Areas with higher concentrations of COVID-19 cases are reporting more disruptions. Distributors overexposed to a state where construction has not been exempted are faring less well than their counterparts.



Most states have deemed building materials dealerships essential, so most dealers are open for business.

Most have made changes to operate safelyreduced store hours, limitation on the number of people entering the building at one time, more reliance on curbside pickup and online orders with store pickup.

Small dealers in states where construction has not been exempted from stay-at-home restrictions are faring worse than those in other states. Dealers are watching inventory levels and are slowing restocking of slow-moving products.

This map correlates COVID-19 intensity with LBM distribution tracked by Principia:

COVID-19 intensity by state vs LBM distribution - map

State colors indicate relative COVID-19 case load as of 04-02-01: red, above average; yellow, average; green, below average. Dots represent Principia-tracked locations. Map © 2020 Mapbox  © OpenStreetMap  Source: Principia

Related Stories

Healthcare Facilities | Jun 20, 2022

Is telehealth finally mainstream?

After more than a century of development, telehealth has become a standard alternative for many types of care.

Coronavirus | May 20, 2022

Center for Green Schools says U.S. schools need more support to fight COVID-19

  The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council released a new report detailing how school districts around the country have managed air quality within their buildings during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry Research | Mar 9, 2022

Survey reveals five ways COVID-19 changed Americans’ impressions of public restrooms and facilities

Upon entering the third year of the pandemic, Americans are not only more sensitive to germs in public restrooms, they now hold higher standards for the cleanliness, condition and technology used in these shared spaces, according to the annual Healthy Handwashing Survey™ from Bradley Corporation conducted in January. 

Codes and Standards | Feb 21, 2022

New standard for ultraviolet germicidal irradiation

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recently introduced the standard, ANSI/IES RP-44-21 Recommended Practice: Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation.

Coronavirus | Jan 20, 2022

Advances and challenges in improving indoor air quality in commercial buildings

Michael Dreidger, CEO of IAQ tech startup Airsset speaks with BD+C's John Caulfield about how building owners and property managers can improve their buildings' air quality.

Coronavirus | Jul 20, 2021

5 leadership lessons for a post-pandemic world from Shawmut CEO Les Hiscoe

Les Hiscoe, PE, CEO of Shawmut, a $1.5 billion construction management company headquartered in Boston, offers a 5-point plan for dealing with the Covid pandemic.

Resiliency | Jul 15, 2021

A new report urges federal investment in healthier buildings

The National Institute of Building Sciences also calls for code changes and greater cooperation between building owners and the AEC community.

Multifamily Housing | Jul 7, 2021

Make sure to get your multifamily amenities mix right

​One of the hardest decisions multifamily developers and their design teams have to make is what mix of amenities they’re going to put into each project. A lot of squiggly factors go into that decision: the type of community, the geographic market, local recreation preferences, climate/weather conditions, physical parameters, and of course the budget. The permutations are mind-boggling.

Multifamily Housing | Jun 30, 2021

A post-pandemic ‘new normal’ for apartment buildings

Grimm + Parker’s vision foresees buildings with rentable offices and refrigerated package storage.

Multifamily Housing | Jun 23, 2021

COVID-19’s impact on multifamily amenities

Multifamily project teams had to scramble to accommodate the overwhelming demand for work-from-home spaces for adults and study spaces for children. 

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: