explore our market researches

Market reports

See all

News I published 24 December 2021

What will prefab be used for and made of in the future?

Usage of prefabricated elements in construction has grown significantly over the past decade or so. According to architects, who are excellent indicators of future developments due to their large and early role in the construction process, the usage of prefab will continue to grow steadily in the coming years. Using ever more prefab will impact the construction process as a whole, the way we build and the materials we choose to use.

For manufacturers of construction materials, knowing for which parts of a building prefabricated elements will be used the most and what materials will be preferred for them is crucial for future profit and maybe even for future survival. That is why, for the Q3 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer, we did not only ask European architects from eight major European markets whether they expect growth of prefab. We also asked them which parts of a building they expect the use of prefabrication the most, and what materials they expect to be used for them.

Prefab continues to be used the most for facades and external walls

Just like before, European architects expect the use of prefabricated elements to grow the most for the construction of facades and external walls. They are currently the most important destination for prefabricated elements, and according to architects, this will continue to grow the most.

But prefab can be used for many other parts of a building, which is also evident in the architects’ expectations. Architects expect the use of prefab to grow in a wider variety of areas, like internal walls, pitched roofs and ceilings. These are among the parts of buildings where architects already see prefab elements used a lot. After facades and external walls, the use of prefab is expected to grow the most in the construction of those building parts.

Does a variety of application areas mean a variety of basic construction materials used?

The above shows that, on average, architects expect external walls, internal walls, ceilings and pitched roofs to be the areas most affected by prefab in the future. Varied though these areas are, there is one basic construction material that architects expect to play the most important role in the manufacture of prefab elements for all of them. That basic material is wood or timber, the material most connected to prefabrication in general.

Aside from that one uniting element of timber, each building part for which prefab is expected to be used more has its own characteristic construction material that is dominantly used. After timber, architects expect concrete to be the material dominantly used for prefabricated elements for facades, for instance. Next to timber, gypsum or plaster is the dominant material for prefabricated inner walls, and steel, to a lesser extent, for prefabricated parts of pitched roofs.


It does seem that, although timber remains the most dominant basic material for prefabricated elements in general, specific construction materials are dominant for prefabricated elements used for specific parts of a building. For producers and manufacturers of construction materials, it will be invaluable to know which area of application is expected to be most affected by prefab. The above only shows the average expectations of European architects, however.

For detailed information on expectations of architects in the countries you operate in, as well as on how the use of prefab will affect decision making in the construction process in eight European countries, we refer you to the Q3 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer.

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.