Architects’ maintain confidence on future workloads

Architects remain confident that improving future workloads remain solid and widespread across the UK, according to the latest RIBA future-trends survey (April). The workload index held up at +35. All UK nations and regions returned very positive balance figures for future workload forecasts. Architects in London were the most positive, with a balance figure of +45.

The commercial sector leads the way, with a workload forecast of +22, up from +17 in March. Private housing rose to +33 from + 31 in March. The public-sector workload forecast has a balance figure of +4, slightly down. There was a positive movement for the community sector to +5.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, said, ‘Optimism about future workload continues to be driven by a widespread strengthening of the private housing sector and an increasing pick-up in commercial projects.

‘RIBA practices reported an 8% improvement in the value of actual work in progress in Q1 of 2014 compared with Q1 in 2013, representing the third consecutive quarter of aggregate growth in the value of work being undertaken by the UK architects’ profession.’

Most practices (94%) expect their staffing levels to stay the same or increase next quarter. In April, 19% of respondents reported that they personally had been under-employed in the previous month.

Adrian Dobson comments, ‘Our practices continue to report a very competitive market for their services, with strong pressure on fee levels and profit margins on many projects remaining tight.’

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