explore our market researches

Market reports

See all

News I published 26 October 2022

Installers’ usage of prefab is continuously growing

Labour shortage is an ever-pressing issue in the construction and installation sector. Using prefabricated elements offers a partial solution to the labour shortage problem. Prefab allows construction and installation professionals to work faster and more efficiently. As such, prefab does not create more professionals to do the jobs, but allows the existing professionals to do more jobs in the same amount of time.

We have seen usage of prefab in European building construction increase year by year over the past decade. This is evident in for instance the growing experience Architects and contractors have with prefabrication in their projects. The question is whether that is also the case with professionals that are involved later in the construction process and further along the value chain, like for instance HVAC installers and plumbers?

More than half of European installers use prefabricated products in their projects 

To answer this question, we focused the Q2 2022 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor on prefabrication. We asked over 650 HVAC installers and plumbers from six European countries about their experience with prefabrication in their daily business. As it turns out, more than 50% of these installers use prefabricated products in their installation projects. Looking at specific countries, this ranges from 41% of installers in Germany, to 61% of French installers using prefabricated products.

It has to be said though that prefab and prefabricated products are very broad terms describing a wide array of larger or smaller forms of prefabrication. We are talking about prefabricated products in the broadest sense, including anything from entire preconstructed and pre-installed boiler rooms or bathroom pods, to a few simple pipes that were cut to size before they were transported to the installation site.

Size matters

As mentioned, usage of prefab differs a bit per country. When comparing differently sized companies, however, more dramatic differences appear. Of the smallest installation companies (up to 4fte), only 37% reported to use prefabricated products in their projects, whereas 56% of the medium-sized companies (5-14fte) reported the same. Of the companies that employ 15 or more fulltime employees, nearly seven out of ten use prefab.

It is clear that the larger the company is, the more likely it is that it uses prefabrication in its projects. This is no surprise, as smaller installation companies are more often involved in smaller residential projects or do more maintenance and repairs, which less often involve prefab. Larger installation companies, on the other hand, are more often involved in large construction projects in which prefabrication is used more often.

Prefab usage likely to grow even more

As labour shortage is not expected to be resolved any time soon, that driver will cause prefab usage to continue to grow. Other benefits of prefabrication, like a more efficient use of materials and a reduction of waste and space needed at the construction site, will continue to drive its usage as well. Altogether the future of prefabricated elements and products is looking bright.

Still, prefab will be used the most by larger installation companies, as it is more profitable for them to use prefabricated elements in their generally larger projects. At the moment they are mainly using prefab in residential projects, and it appears there is still much to gain where it comes to non-residential application of prefabricated installation products.

For a full overview of installers’ usage of prefabricated products in their installation projects in six major European markets, we refer you to the Q2 2022 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor.

Fresh Insights Await

Our latest reports

Delve into the newest findings across various market segments, crafted for a cutting-edge overview. Explore our latest reports, brimming with up-to-date data, trend analyses, and in-depth examinations, all tailored to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the current market dynamics.


Home Improvement



Trends in material usage Q1 2024

2024 102 pages

Explore the evolving trends in material usage among European architects in Q1 2024. Delve into the factors driving material preferences and the impact on construction aesthetics and sustainability.


Media orientation H2 2021

2024 161 pages

Explore the media engagement patterns of contractors to optimize your marketing strategies. Dive into a pool of insights that unveils how contractors interact with different media channels.


European Green Deal Q4 2021

2024 88 pages

Explore the impact and reception of the European Green Deal among architects. Understand how the initiative is influencing architectural practices and sustainability measures.


BIM Q4 2023

2024 246 pages

Key insights regarding the BIM usage and behaviour of European architects, and our latest future building volumes prognoses


Purchase Channels H2 2023

2024 123

Explore the buying and ordering behaviour among contractors in H1 2023. Uncover the key channels used, share-of-wallet and much more.


Behavioural segmentation and media usage report 2023

2023 75 pages

This report provides a comprehensive overview of purchase behaviour, products, and media usage, specifically focusing on European handymen. It delves into how handymen use media, and for what purposes, and examines their habits and preferences in terms of purchasing behaviour.

Home Improvement

DIY versus DIFM Q4 2021

2024 113 pages

This report is a must-have if you’re in the home improvement industry. It provides a wealth of information on the behaviour of DIY and DIFM consumers, their motivations, and the factors that influence their purchasing decisions.

Home Improvement

DIY or DIFM Q4 2023

2024 70

Explore the prevailing trends between DIY and DIFM in Q4 2023. Understand consumer preferences and the factors influencing their choice between DIY and DIFM.

Home Improvement

Branding Q3 2023

2023 93 pages

This report offers an extensive overview of the home improvement industry, with a focus on branding and the most popular brands within different categories. Within this report, you will gain insights into how customers perceive home improvement brands and what motivates them to buy certain products.

Home Improvement

Purchase channels Q2 2023

2023 114 pages

The European Home Improvement Monitor offers valuable insights on purchase channels in the European home improvement industry, examining the evolving preferences and behaviors of consumers across traditional retail and emerging online platforms.

Home Improvement

Rise of digital natives Q1 2022

2022 120 pages

Explore the impact of digital natives on the home improvement sector in Q1 2022. Discover how digitalization is shaping consumer behaviors and market trends.

Home Improvement

Purchase Channels Q2 2022

2022 124 pages

Uncover the prevalent purchase channels in the home improvement sector during Q2 2022. Delve into consumer preferences and the factors influencing their purchasing decisions.


Sustainability Q1 2024

2024 81 pages

Delve into sustainability trends in the home improvement sector in Q1 2024. Discover consumer preferences and the shift towards eco-friendly home improvement solutions.


BIM Q1 2024

2024 84 pages


Sustainability Q1 2024

2024 99 pages

The European Electrical Installation Monitor report provides a detailed analysis of the sustainable solutions in the installation industry. This report specifically focuses on sustainability aspects in the industry.


Challenges toward sustainable future Q4 2021

2024 111 pages


Purchase channels Q4 2021

2024 106 pages

Delve into the training needs within the electrical installation sector. Understand the areas requiring skill development to meet the evolving demands of the industry.


European Heat Pump Monitor: Homeowners’ insight


The European Heat Pump Monitor: Homeowners’ insight is an annual survey based on about 4.000 online interviews with homeowners, conducted in 8 European countries. The report covers a range of topics, relevant to understand the sentiments, buying behaviours, concerns, and evolving needs of the target group. It includes 8 country-specific insights, with cross-country comparisons, and provide guidance for shaping successful and sustainable strategies for business growth.