explore our market researches

Market reports

See all

News I published 07 November 2023

Which innovative sustainable solutions are hot or not?

Sustainability and circularity are hot topics in the world of building construction. Although clients of architects may not always be willing or able to pay the often higher price for more sustainable options, demand for sustainable buildings and circular construction is still high in these times of high energy prices and climate change.  

To answer that demand, many companies invest heavily in developing sustainable construction materials and products. Consequently, architects are confronted with a multitude of innovative solutions for more sustainable and circular construction to choose from. The question is, which innovative solutions are being adopted? 

Energy-saving and renewable  

To find out, we asked architects from eight European countries what solutions and products for sustainability and circularity are already being used. Given the recent, rather dramatic increases in energy prices, it does not surprise that architects mention insulation the most. Similarly, it does not surprise that solar panels are the second-most-mentioned solution. 

What is interesting is that architects specifically mention bio-based insulation. That focus on bio-based products shows that this is not just a reactionary concern about energy savings. It also betrays a deeper interest in the origin of the material, and greater value is placed on renewable sources.  

Circular materials  

The third most mentioned are recycled and reused materials, which is a broader category of materials linked to sustainability. Recycling and reusing materials is also an essential practice for circular construction, which strives for continuous reuse of materials.  

Interestingly, further down the graph, we find some specific mentions of circular or reused materials. Circular concrete, insulation from waste material, and circular wooden frames are mentioned by 6%, 6%, and 5% of architects, respectively. These are not very high percentages, but together they show that circularity is gaining interest.  

It has to be mentioned though, that the above-mentioned circular or reused materials are mainly mentioned by French architects. For instance, 21% of French architects mentioned circular wooden frames as an innovative solution that is currently being used, while the share of architects mentioning this in other countries varies from 0% to 6%. 

Country differences show what is hot or not.

Clearly, country differences show that the innovative solutions regarding sustainability and circularity that are currently used, according to architects, differ from area to area. For instance, France is more material-based when looking at sustainability, as bio-based and cross-laminated timber, and the aforementioned circular and reused materials are mentioned a lot.  

In Italy and Germany, on the other hand, the focus is more on renewable energy, as solar panels are currently mentioned the most as innovative solutions that are already being used, according to architects. On the other hand, none of the Dutch architects mentioned solar panels, which is a great example of the caution that is needed when interpreting these results.  

…and what architects in certain markets consider to be innovative  

The fact that Dutch architects do not mention solar panels as innovative solutions that are already being used does not mean solar panels are not being used. Solar panels are being installed in record numbers in the Netherlands every year. What this indicates is that solar panels are so normal in the Dutch market that architects do not consider them innovative solutions any more, but just normal solutions.  

This shows how important it is for manufacturers of materials and solutions for more sustainable and circular building construction to know the fine details of and differences between specific markets to truly understand the playing field. For a full overview of architects’ thoughts and attitudes about sustainable and circular construction and which innovative sustainable solutions are currently hot in eight European countries, we refer you to 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



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.


Purchase behaviour 2023

2023 64 pages

Uncover the purchasing behaviors among painters in 2023. Understand the factors driving their choices and how they relate to product and brand preferences.


Sustainability Q2 2023

2023 94 pages

Uncover architects' perspectives on sustainability in Q2 2023. Explore the evolving sustainable practices and the impact on architectural designs and project implementations.


Media orientation Q1 2023

2023 95 pages

Unravel the media engagement trends among European architects in Q1 2023. Delve into how different media channels are utilized for information, inspiration, and professional growth.

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.

Home Improvement

Do-it-yourself or do-it-for-me Q4 2022

2022 93 pages

Explore the prevailing trends between DIY and DIFM in Q4 2022. Understand consumer preferences and the factors influencing their choice between DIY and DIFM.


Training needs Q4 2023

2024 110 Pages

This report explores the training needs of installers, both digital and personal. The full report covers all important training needs & aspects and offers a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.


Purchase channels Q4 2023

2024 97 pages

This report offers a comprehensive view of the buying and ordering behaviour among electrical installers in Europe. Within the report, you will find key information on the purchase channels installers use, the share-of-wallet per channel, the way of ordering and much more.


Services in the Installation market Q2 2023

2023 111 pages

This report explores the type of support installers anticipate from manufacturers and to what degree. Alongside a thorough examination of installation services, the report presents a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.


Sustainability Q1 2023

2023 99 pages

The European Mechanical Installation Monitor report provides a detailed analysis of the plumbing and HVAC industry. This report specifically focuses on sustainability aspects in the industry.


Purchase channels Q3 2023

2023 106 pages

This report provides a comprehensive view of the attitudes of installers toward purchase channels, specifically among HVAC installers. In the report, you will find insights into buying behaviour, which channels are mostly used, which are growing, and whether online channels are gaining acceptance.


Sustainability Q1 2023

2023 73 pages

Delve into sustainability trends in the home improvement sector in Q1 2023. Discover consumer preferences and the shift towards eco-friendly home improvement solutions.