Driving Success In The Architecture & Engineering Industry In 2017
The architecture and consulting engineering sector has been relatively uncertain during the last 12 months but that hasn’t stopped industry players from being optimistic about what is to come.
In fact, despite 2016 being arguably one of the most unsettling years in recent political history, Dr Julian Francis, director of policy and external affairs at the Association for Consultancy and Engineering in the UK, highlights that “this is probably the best environment our members have had for a number of years”.
This positivity is radiating through the industry with many firms expecting revenue to grow and protecting a fragile confidence for the year ahead.
So, what is driving this positivity?
The United States, Australia and Europe are all experiencing signs of recovery and in the UK, despite uncertainty around Brexit, sentiment is positive largely because of investment into infrastructure projects such as a third runway at Heathrow.
There is of course still concerns over unpredictable exchange rates, the rising cost of raw materials and slowdowns experienced in China and some emerging markets, but overall, the global demand for investment into infrastructure is allaying fears and encouraging cautious industry optimism.
Additionally, there is still a strong and steady stream of skilled new graduates entering the market which buoys the industry. Architecture and consulting engineering is still seen as an attractive industry to work in and universities are producing quality professionals.
That’s not to say that attracting and retaining staff is not a problem though, as with many industries, demand still exceeds supply and additionally it is becoming more noticeable that there is a skills shortage further down the line, particularly when it comes to building trades.
This is still not enough to dampen industry enthusiasm though and there is a comprehensive pipeline of subcontractors and freelancers that are being used to fill the gaps as required.
A final element driving industry positivity is the advancements made with technology. Advanced big data analytics and artificial intelligence are becoming more pervasive, and technology has enabled a quicker transfer of information – enabling firms to widen the scope of their offerings and improve efficiency.
According to Roger Nickells, CEO at BuroHappold Engineering, this means that firms can move the focus away from codes to designing to real performance,
“Where we used to be able to test the performance of a building using BIM, we can now do that with an entire city or a district. We can test the performance of a space and how people react to their environment at unprecedented levels. It changes the way we look at things”.
Architecture and Consulting Engineering Trends Report 2017
This is just a short overview of how the architecture and consulting engineering industry is bouncing back from its year of uncertainty. For more information, download our 2017 Architecture and Consulting Engineering Industry Snapshot.