RIBA workload survey is strongest for nine years

RIBA, workload survey

The RIBS (Royal Institute of British Architects) latest survey shows the workload forecast to be at an all-time high. Under-employment for architects is at a record low, and workload and staffing forecasts are the highest since the survey began in 2009.

The future trends workload index for June 2015 shot up to +44 from the +37 reported in May. All countries and regions in the UK returned positive balance figures. Practices in the Midlands and East Anglia were the most confident about workloads over the next quarter — with a balance figure of +51.

Large practices (over 50 staff) are the most confident about future work prospects (balance figure +71). Small practices up to 10 staff reported a balance figure of +42. Medium-sized practices (11 to 50) staff) reported a balance figure of +47. Small and medium-sized practices remain in strongly positive territory.

The private-housing-sector workload forecast increased to +39 in June 2015 (from +34 in May). The commercial-sector workload forecast fell back very slightly to +19, down from +21. Office and leisure buildings in particular remain an important area of growth.

The public-sector workload forecast saw a modest increase to +2, while the community sector forecast continued its recent positive trajectory, moving to +5.

RIBA executive director members Adrian Dobson said: ‘The overall picture is of a profession that is confident about its future workloads and is beginning to feel the invigorating effects of a sustained period of real growth. Commentary suggests that many practices have a rapidly filling order book, with private housing continuing to be the primary driver of growth in demand for architects’ services.

‘Of course, many macro-economic factors and uncertainties may impact upon the financial fortunes of the architectural profession, but with all our key indicators now standing at new peaks the overall mood is very optimistic.’

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