Changes in the nature of demand for construction works in Belgiumby Hannelore Vanbilloen Aquiec-Vkebi Belgium
The growth and globalisation of competition represent a key change for the construction sector, but this is not the only factor
affecting market conditions. The volume of demand and its nature are just as important, if not more so. Specifically, as long
as clients have the required financial resources, the demand for construction works is unlikely to dry up and should in fact
Shift towards renovation
In every segment of the sector, there is substantial demand for construction works, with this applying to both new constructions and renovation. Against this backdrop, almost five million existing homes will require energy renovation over the next 35 years, so an average rate of 143,000 homes per annum. Renovation is expected to reduce these dwellings' average annual energy consumption, currently standing at 140 kWh/m², to between 60 and 100 kWh/m². This target cannot be achieved just by insulating roofs, as while this does cut energy losses by some 30%, it does not reduce consumption to the same extent.
There is no straightforward way to compare the future demand for renovation work with the current level of production, partly due to the lack of precise data regarding the latter, both in terms of the number of energy renovations and the scale of the works performed. It stands to reason though that the current production level is well below the forecast volume that has to be achieved in the years ahead, in view of not only the work needed to enhance homes' energy performance by 2050 but also that required to do so for non-residential buildings over the same period. As a result, the energy renovation segment can expect strong future growth, but only if the authorities take the measures needed for buildings to meet the targets for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions as part of the efforts required of them to combat global warming.