As we enter the second quarter of 2016 how is the year shaping up for the architecture sector? A quick review shows things are looking up. In fact with research finding UK construction output is predicted to hit an all time high in 2016, and architecture came in at number four on the list of booming business sectors there are plenty reasons to be cheerful.
Here are just a few of them…
- Construction output hits record levels:
Research company Leading Edge have predicted record levels of construction output in 2016 with expected overall growth of 3.3%. Their research found nearly all areas of the sector are performing strongly, particularly private house building, industry and infrastructure.
And the forecast for the next few years looks sunny too. Leading Edge anticipate that by 2020 construction output will be a massive 17% higher than it was in 2015.
- Private house building still booming:
High end residential apartment building continues its upward trajectory. Literally in the case of London with tall buildings springing up across the city’s skyline. 119 new skyscrapers have been proposed over the past year as the capital attempts to meet the increasing demand for new homes and offices.
As well as brand new homes being built more people than ever before are extending their existing properties. With space at a premium, Londoners in particular, are extending upwards, downwards and outwards, increasingly employing the skills of architects.
- Universities investing for the future:
The education sector has proved lucrative to many practices in recent years and shows no signs of abating as universities commission new buildings and accommodation blocks. Oxford University was one such institution to unveil their new campus buildings recently, designed by London Studio Gort Scott.
Investment in new student housing reached a five year high in 2015 and this trend is expected to continue into 2016 as higher education institutions invest to modernise and compete for new students.
It looks like there will be plenty of new schools soon too with news that the government has set aside £200 million to invest.
- Government backing infrastructure projects:
As well as new free schools the government is also investing heavily in infrastructure. Money is being poured into transport projects such as HS2 and Crossrail and many northern cities are being regenerated as the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ development gets underway.
The development of HS2 has recently been described as a “massive opportunity for architects” who are being encouraged to partner with construction firms to bid for work.
These new infrastructure projects offer new and exciting opportunities for practices. and the recent budget confirmed there will be a further £300 million pledged for new infrastructure projects such as HS3 and Crossrail 2.
These are all positive signs for 2016 and beyond particularly against a backdrop of government cuts in recent years.
RIBA welcomed the planned investment in infrastructure for London and the North of the country and called for more to be done to tackle the housing crisis.
A study carried out by RIBA at the beginning of the year – the Future Trends Workload index – found architects feeling confident, with firms reporting higher staff recruitment and increasing workloads.
With so many positive stories around it is no surprise to learn that the mood among architects is buoyant.
The outlook is really positive but what have you made of 2016 so far? What sectors have been busy for you and what predictions do you have for the rest of the year? – Consult@hunterdunning.co.uk
I am the Managing Director of Hunter Dunning Ltd, specialising in the recruitment of architectural and interior design professionals throughout the UK. Feel free to get in touch if you are considering a move in the future, we would love to hear from you.