High acceptance of prefab among architects, especially in the Netherlands

Prefab is one of the ways for ensuring a fast and efficient building process. The acceptance of using such materials and products is growing among the European architects.

The usage however is mostly noticeable in the Netherlands where the building site becomes an assembly site according to 80% of the architects. 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 prefab materials and products, which only a couple of years ago were not that popular and accepted by the architects, now show great potential. They are not longer seen as products limiting the freedom of the architects. On the contrary, architects in all countries agree that they can still create good looking buildings with such products (in all countries the share of those who agree with the statement has grown in one year, most significantly in Italy and the UK – by 23%).

Some external factors are also relevant for the wider acceptance of prefab: the demand of the investors for faster and cheaper buildings which we see in almost all countries; the shortage of qualitative and quantitative labour force in the construction companies, as a result of the difficult years; the developments among the manufacturers of such products who are able to offer custom made products within the prefab segment etc.

The Netherlands seems to be ahead of the other countries as usage of prefab. The majority of the Dutch architects agree that the construction site is turning into an assembly site. Of all other countries, France appears to be the most conservative one. Although architects accept the prefab products, the traditional building methods continue to be widely used in practice.

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.