Half of UK architects see Brexit as a ‘challenge’ for their sector

Aluminium building systems supplier, Hueck UK, has commissioned a survey of more than 14,000 architects to gauge their expectations for the year ahead.

When questioned, just over half (52%) of architects said they see Brexit as a ‘challenge’ for their sector, with 12% viewing it as an ‘opportunity’ and 28% stating it was ‘both an opportunity and a challenge’.

When asked what the biggest challenge they will face in 2017 will be, 52% of architects said rising costs of materials; 16% said retaining free movement of skills and services; 12% said finding skilled professionals to employ and 4% said changes to UK building laws and regulations.

When asked how they thought the UK architectural sector will perform in 2017, compared to 2016, 52% said it will fare worse; 24% said it would perform better and another 24% said it would be ‘business as usual’.

Despite warnings of a dip in construction output, when asked if they expected to see an increase in projects in the geographical area they cover, 56% of those surveyed said ‘yes’.

Drilling down into the types of projects they expect to see, 52% of those questioned said ‘residential’; 24% said ‘commercial’ and 16% said private sector.

When respondents were asked how confident they are regarding the future, 28% said ‘very confident’, 44% said ‘somewhat confident’ and 28% said they were ‘not very confident at all’.

Leon Friend, director at Hueck, said: “What the survey shows us is that although there are some concerns, the economy and confidence is generally holding up. Obviously, Article 50 hasn’t been triggered yet but the findings of our survey chime with the recent economic growth forecasts from the Bank of England, which have been revised upwards.”