The crisis has changed the demands of the clients in the construction sector. Investors are in search of ways to build faster and cheaper. The limited financial resources and the desire for faster exploitation of the buildings are challenges the whole value chain will have to take into consideration. These are some of the conclusions of the Q2 2013 European Architectural Barometer report, a quarterly research among 1,600 architects in eight European countries. European architects act as a leading indicator for the construction activity.
The construction sector is still under significant pressure. Only the German and the Belgium sector are performing better, while the rest of the countries have difficulties in catching up in terms of building volumes. For most countries reaching the pre-crisis building volumes will never happen (according to the opinion of the architects in Spain, Italy and the Netherlands). For the UK, France and Poland architects expect it will take between one and five years.
With the changes on the market changes in the requirements of the principals can also be seen. They start to demand a cheaper and faster building process which can assure payable buildings and a faster return on the investments.
In seven of the eight countries Arch-Vision investigates, the demand for cheaper buildings is already taking place. In Italy only one third of the architects mention it is currently happening, while 41% expect this to be the trend of the coming one to three years.
Building faster is currently demanded in Germany and the Netherlands in particular, but also in the rest of countries it is already on the agenda. According to the architects it is going to play a bigger role in the near future.
The pressure from the market requires re-thinking of the whole construction process and identification of the areas where money and time can be saved. Working more efficiently, with fewer but regular partners, delivering more prefab and total solutions instead of separate products seem to be some of the ways to answer the market demands.
These and many other results and trends of the developments of the European construction market can be found in the European Architectural Barometer, an international market research conducted among 1,600 architects in Europe. This study is conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland by Arch-Vision four times a year. Besides indicators to forecast the European building volumes, a specific topic is highlighted each quarter. The topic in Q2 2013 was “Architectural Design & Technology Trends”. Architects can be used not only as a reliable source for future building volumes information, but their role is very important as they have great influence on how projects are built and which materials are used.