Sustainability and environmental compatibility are top trends for the exhibitors at BAU

Sustainability and environmental compatibility, in particular as regards energy and energy-efficiency, will shape the next two years in the building sector—that is the opinion of the exhibitors at BAU. This finding comes from an anonymous, representative online survey.

In this survey, exhibitors were asked about their international markets and the trends they see as relevant for the building sector. 76% of respondents said that the environment and sustainability would be “hugely important,” and 21% said these themes would be “very important.” This figure of 76% was particularly high in relation to the responses to the other themes. On the theme of climate resilience or robustness, a good 43% regarded this as “hugely important,” and 45% as “very important.” These findings show that environment and climate issues are now, finally, firmly in the focus of the BAU exhibitors. “It’s a clear indication that the ‘Challenge of Climate Change’ was very much the right choice for our new key theme,” said BAU Exhibition Director Mirko Arend.

In second place in the ranking of top trends are the themes of modernization and renovation, named by 96% of respondents (60% saying this was “hugely important,” 36% “very important”). In other words: Despite the boom in new construction, almost all the BAU exhibitors also do business, some exclusively, in renovation and modernization. In third place, named by 91% of respondents, are the themes of recycling and life-cycle. These issues, too, are covered at BAU 2021 in the new key theme of “Resources and Recycling.”

Somewhat surprisingly, the theme of digitalization(84%), and here in particular BIM, came only eighth in the rankings. The themes of robotics and 3D printing came last, and for the exhibitors at BAU, these seem to be issues for the more distant future. Only 50% of respondents, in each category, named these themes as a trend for the coming two years.

As regards sales markets, however, the survey reveals little change as compared to the previous survey (end of 2017). The German-speaking regions continue to be of central importance. Almost all BAU exhibitors (95%) sell their products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 69% also do business in the rest of Europe. On this, as well as the Benelux countries, the respondents named France, Italy and the UK as among their most important markets. It seems, therefore, the BAU exhibitors are not fearing a major downturn in sales as a result of Brexit.

When it comes to overseas markets, Asia and North America are on level pegging. One in three BAU exhibitors exports to these continents, or is planning to do so. Here, too, there was little change as regards the responses from the 2017 survey.

The aim of the survey is to identify the themes and the target markets of the exhibitors at BAU, so that they can be reflected at the show and highlighted in the PR and marketing activities ahead of the next event.


The online survey was conducted between November 28, 2019 and January 3, 2020 by the IfaD Institut für angewandte Datenanalyse and Gelszus Messe-Marktforschung. 548 exhibitors took part. That corresponds to a response rate of 33%. Multiple nominations were possible.

Published on April 20, 2020