Refurbishment projects on the rise for UK architects


Projects involving works to existing buildings now make up 64% of architects’ workloads, according to the results of the December 2012 Future Trends Survey carried out by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This figure, which has been increasing steadily since 2010, suggests that in the present climate conservation, refurbishment and adaptive re-use are important areas for architects to apply their expertise. The Workloads Index for December 2012 was plus-8, remaining in positive territory since October 2012, which continues to suggest a stable market for architects’ services.

RIBA Director of Practice Adrian Dobson said: “The upward movements in two key sectors (commercial and private housing) represent a very positive trend for the profession and the wider industry. They are the sectors most likely to provide an early indication of any emerging sustainable growth in the UK construction industry.”

London, the South of England, the Midlands, East Anglia, the West and Wales continued to be relatively more optimistic about future workloads, and for the first time since October the North of England also returned an overall positive balance figure. Practices in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to be much more cautious about workload prospects.

Practices in London (balance figure +4) are the most likely to be taking on additional staff during the next quarter, whilst practices in Scotland and Northern Ireland are the most cautious about future staffing levels.