The European architects rather keep their position in the decision making process. Their role is still important when the type of products to be used in a project needs to be selected. However some other parties gain influence as well and that is what the manufacturers should take into account. These are some of the conclusions of the Q1 2014 European Architectural Barometer report, a quarterly research among 1,600 architects in eight European countries.
All product producers would like to have a clear view who is the main decision maker for their products and brands. For many building products such as façade materials, insulation materials, inner walls products, etc., the architect is often the decision maker when it comes to the types of products to be used. In the brand selection however their role is much lower and other parties become more decisive.
In general, when asked whether their role in the product and brand decision process becomes less important, a great share of the European architects pointed out that they have not noticed such a trend. The Dutch architects see their role diminishing to a higher degree than the architects in other countries.
There are however some other parties which gain importance in the projects. For example when it comes to the installations, , the role of the installation advisor becomes more and more important due to the increasing complexity of those products (more than 70% of the architects in all 8 countries agree with this), not only for the selection of the products, but also for the brand.
The construction companies gain ground in the product and brand selection as well, a trend observed by 40 to 70% of the architectural companies in the different countries. The bigger the construction company is, the bigger the influence they will have in the process of product and brand selection.
Despite the fact that the position of the architects does not seem to change much, the decision making process obviously becomes more complex, with other parties gaining importance as well. So the old days are over, where only one market party was deciding for the product or brand. Since more and more parties are involved in the early stages of the decision making process, the decision is made by a few parties instead of one. This also has its repercussions for manufacturers: they need to think more about what information do the different parties need to make a decision and via which channels to provide this information.
These and many other results and trends of the developments of the European construction market can be found in the European Architectural Barometer, an international market research conducted among 1,600 architects in Europe. This study is conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland by Arch-Vision four times a year. Besides indicators to forecast the European building volumes, a specific topic is highlighted each quarter. The topic in Q1 2014 was “Decision Making Unit & Media orientation”. Architects can be used not only as a reliable source for future building volumes information, but their role is very important as they have great influence on how projects are built and which materials are used.