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Architects Optimistic for Post-Election Boom

NBS election research shows sector is expecting a projects-surge.

westminster-nbs

Today, NBS and Glenigan (both part of Byggfakta Group) release their latest findings from a poll of architects and construction professionals, which found nearly half of architects (49%) expect a post-election project surge. A third (32%) predict it will be easier to get projects green-lit from clients, and a similar number expect supply chain pressures, inflation and material shortages to ease.

For a sector that has faced numerous challenges over the past few years, there is a sense of optimism. Only one in five architects (21%) predicted no positive outcomes following the election. Interestingly, architects were the most pessimistic professional group when compared with engineers and construction specialists.

Making sustainability a priority was a consistent call from built environment professionals. Only one in twenty did not want to see the new government focus on net zero. A third of construction and architectural specialists called for tax incentives and subsidies to support sustainable projects.

One in five architects also wanted to see EPDs become legally binding (17%), higher than construction professionals (11%) and engineers (14%). This is possibly because of architects’ detailed focus on EPDs during the specification stage of a project.

Also, a quarter of architects wanted stricter measures on construction waste, including financial penalties for excessive landfill use and criminal prosecution for those caught fly-tipping.

When asked about the priorities of today’s politicians, nearly half (44%) of architects felt that infrastructure, social housing, and planning policy were top of the agenda, compared to less than a third of their construction (30%) or engineering (28%) counterparts.

The survey of over 500 construction industry professionals reveals a positive outlook following a sluggish approval period in the past year – with many clients waiting for political stability before approving projects. 

That said, architects and the wider sector also felt the UK is a great place to do business. Two in five (40%) described it as ‘easy’ to function as a business, as did engineers and over half of construction professionals. One in ten even described it as ‘very easy’. 

Commenting on the findings, Russell Haworth, CEO UKI of Byggfakta Group, said: “There’s a general feeling that the Labour Government is a new dawn, and architects are expecting that political certainty, a renewed focus on the housing shortage, and unknotting the planning system will benefit the sector. Many of the profession are predicting increased project starts, leading to a sense of optimism.  In terms of a desired focus, with the new government committed to the net zero agenda, architects want to see meaningful action to support the move to sustainable construction. Both tax incentives and enforced regulation will ensure the UK can cope with climate change.”
The survey, which included responses from 505 industry professionals across construction, architecture and engineering, and at all company sizes and turnover brackets, posed the questions:  

What are you most optimistic about?
In terms of energy and climate policies that would help the built environment to meet its net zero targets?
What if anything, are your top priorities you would like to see the next Government commit to?
How easy or difficult would you say it is to do business in this country?
What areas of Government priorities, if any, do you think are the most important to the current generation of politicians?