Our website uses cookies to help provide you with the best experience tailored to your interests. To use the website with full comfort, please accept to receive all cookies on our website. For more information with regard to Cookies please see our Privacy policy.

Accept Decline

New opportunities for architects and the construction industry

A positive development is the ongoing recovery of the European construction sector. This is the result of different studies and surveys that analysed the mood and the order situation among European architects. According to the results of a survey by the Ifo Institute of 2,500 freelance architects in Germany, the order situation in 2015 is quite positive. The surveyed architects’ assessment of their situation has rarely been better since the regularly conducted survey was started more than 30 years ago. A clear upward trend is also indicated by international studies, such as the European Architectural Barometer, a survey conducted quarterly among 1,600 architects in eight European countries. There are, of course, regional differences in these countries. Individual trends and results have been distilled from the surveys, however, giving a good overview of the current situation in the European construction sector. They also enable forecasts for the future.*

(*All of the following information and picture material are based on summaries from the European Architectural Barometer, Arch-Vision (www.arch-vision.eu))

Market: Specialists wanted

Architects are diverse in nature – their generalist education is located between art and craft, business and technology, philosophy and conceptual design. The years of degression in the construction sector have caused many architects to cross over and seek career niches in other sectors. This fact and the currently recovering order situation are resulting in a clearly perceivable lack of qualified specialists. According to the European Architectural Barometer, this lack of personnel has been especially evident for the past 12 months in Great Britain and Germany. However, an increased demand for well-trained specialists compared with 2014 has also been registered in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. According to a study by the European Parliament that was published in March 2015, however, this lack is a good sign – because it leads to the prediction that the European construction sector will recover within the next few years.

Tasks: New construction versus modernisation

The survey indicated major differences between countries based on the relevance of new construction and modernisation projects. While three fourths of architects in Spain and Italy agree that the tasks to be expected in the future will primarily consist of modernising existing buildings, planners in Great Britain and Poland disagreed. This controversial view is shaped by the renovation markets in these countries.

The survey indicated major differences between countries based on the relevance of new construction and modernisation projects. While three fourths of architects in Spain and Italy agree that the tasks to be expected in the future will primarily consist of modernising existing buildings, planners in Great Britain and Poland disagreed. This controversial view is shaped by the renovation markets in these countries.

The new and/or more stringent regulations requiring minimum energy efficiency – also in existing buildings – have already been integrated in the daily processes of the vast majority of European architects. They expect, however, that there should be an improved alignment of local and European regulations for energy efficiency in new and existing buildings in the future.

Trends: Prefabrication is gaining ground

In addition to economic and clearly quantifiable aspects, design trends are also included in surveys. An important aspect with respect to construction, design and also fundamental planning principles is the use of prefabricated building components. According to the Architectural Barometer, the surveyed architects in most of the countries have no aesthetic reservations about working with prefabricated components or materials. On the contrary, they see many advantages for the workflow and the supply chain, due to the close cooperation between industry and planning.

Products: LED lighting and heat recovery

Asked about the future potential of products within different product groups, the architects of all countries indicated that they expect a significant increase in the use of LED lighting in installations. The potential in HVAC systems for heat recovery was rated as high in most of the countries, while the use of gas boilers was regarded in all countries as being only slightly innovative.

Target group: Influence of the end consumer is increasing

Almost all of the surveyed architects were in agreement that the influence of the user and the end consumer on the choice of products will increase in the coming years. This realisation exists across industries and is based on changed consumer behaviour. End consumers – in the construction sector these are the building owners and users – increasingly demand products that exactly fulfil their individual needs. To this end, all markets are developing new dynamic processes in order to better adapt to these consumer preferences.