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Trends I published 15 December 2023

Prefab

Some years ago, a study was published in which the productivity development of the construction sector was compared with the other industrial sectors. The study clearly showed that construction productivity has hardly improved since 1950, while other industries have significantly improved. Also, it is a well-known fact that the profitability of construction, installation, and engineering companies is low. At the same time, the risk involved in construction projects is relatively high.

A key solution to becoming more profitable is to apply prefabricated elements and modules to projects and increase off-site production. On top of this, the labor shortage is also a key driver for the growth of prefab and off-site construction in the last decade. The expectation is that prefab will continue to grow in the upcoming years.

How does prefab already impact the industry?

The impact of prefab and off-site construction on manufacturers and merchants is already visible.

  • Different target groups to market the products to (new routes to markets).
  • Alternative products are applied in prefab, causing product competition.
  • There is a growing need for co-makers.
  • Competitors are starting prefab production.
  • The decision-making process is simplified (the decision-making power of architects, contractors, and installers on individual product and brand choices will be lessened).

What is next?

USP has been investigating prefabrication and off-site construction in the construction and installation market via dedicated research projects for sector organisations, manufacturers, and merchants, and via our different European multiclient research projects for more than a decade. From our research among architects, contractors, and installers, we know that the share of prefab will continue to grow in the upcoming years. This is to improve the profitability of the projects and is a necessity to deal with the labour shortage.

How does USP help their customers with prefab studies?

With the topic of prefab in mind, we help our customers to:

  1. Prefab market sizing and forecasting research (which segments? which products?)
  2. Product research to identify growth opportunities
  3. Identification of prefab and off-site producers in specific countries
  4. Needs and requirements research to become a co-maker of prefab producers

Context is key

To create an overview of market developments and provide context for client-specific research, USP Marketing Consultancy has developed several monitors. We continuously research market developments and the effects of key trends like labour shortages among architects, contractors, HVAC installers, electrical installers, painters, and end-consumers, of which reports are published quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

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