Architects’ confidence soars thanks to construction sector
Confidence is growing among architects about the amount of work they hope to receive from key sectors of the construction industry, research from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revealed.
Expectations of orders from private housing, commercial and public-sector builders caused RIBA’s Workload Index to soar from +26 points in February to +36 last month.
The region with the most promising outlook was London and the South East, where architects felt most positive about their medium-term workloads. The survey also showed that there were improvements to staffing levels in many practices, indicating greater stability in the demand for architects, led by the stronger building sector.
Adrian Dobson, director of practice at the RIBA, welcomed the news as a sign of growing confidence about the likelihood of new construction projects getting off the ground. He said: “Only 2% of respondents expect to have fewer permanent staff in three months’ time. “We are also seeing a greater number of practices expecting an increase in temporary staff over the medium term. This highlights that there is more certainty about the new-project pipeline.”
Participants in the survey reported feeling best about work orders from the private housing and commercial sectors, with the combined workload from both areas increasing by around 8% every year.
Confidence in the private housing sector was up seven points on February’s survey to +34 last month, while the outlook in the commercial area jumped +15 to +19.There was also a boost in forecasts of public-sector work, where confidence increased from +1 to +5 from February to March.