Yechte Consulting launches Studio70.71 website, an emerging architectural design facilitation based in Leeds, Yorkshire.
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Construction output fell by 3.9% between the first and second quarters of 2012, new figures show today.
The fall is 9.5% when compared with the same period a year ago.
The volume of all new work fell by 4.6% compared with the first quarter of 2012 - and by 12.8% compared with 2011.
A spokesman for the Office of National Statistics, which released the figures, said the poor weather and the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were likely to have been contributing factors, as well as moving the late May bank holiday to June.
Steve McGuckin, managing director of Turner & Townsend, said: “All the sunshine and Olympic feelgood factor in the world can’t hide the fact that these are black days for the construction sector.
“Stagnation has moved from the stuff of nightmares to the new norm.
“Despite Sir Mervyn King’s assertion this week that the economy is ‘slowly healing’, construction is still walking wounded. Output in the last quarter tumbled to levels not seen since the depths of the 2009 recession. The big drop in infrastructure output is of particular concern for the economy as a whole.”
Optimists who hoped 2013 would see an upturn in work were being forced into a drastic rethink, he added, and small and medium-sized firms were the worst hit.
- UK Second-Quarter Slump May Be Smaller as Building Revised - Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Slower construction fall signals GDP revision (telegraph.co.uk)
- Recession deniers should shut up as down we continue to go (newstatesman.com)
European construction output in May was 6.7% down on previous year and only slightly better than April’s low figures.
Compared with May 2011, production in May 2012 dropped by 8.4% in the Eurozone and by 6.9% across all 27 countries of the EU.
Production in construction rose by 0.1% in Eurozone in May compared with April and by 1.6% across the whole of the EU. But the rise is on figures that had decreased by 3.7% and 6.9% respectively in April. Performance in the UK was up 6.3% on April.
The estimates were released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Among the member states with available for May 2012, production in construction rose in eight, fell in six and remained stable in the Czech Republic. The highest increases were registered in the United Kingdom (+6.3%), Romania (+5.0%) and Portugal (+3.6%), and the largest decreases in Slovenia (-17.5%), Hungary (-4.1%) and Spain (-3.3%).
Building construction dropped by 0.2% in the Euro area, but increased by 1.8% in the EU27, after -3.6% and -7.7% respectively in April 2012. Civil engineering rose by 0.6% in the Eurozone area and by 0.7% across the EU, after -3.9% and -4.8% respectively in the previous month.
In terms of the annual comparison, production in construction fell in 12 and rose in three. The largest decreases were registered in Spain (-24.8%), Slovenia (-23.7%) and Portugal (-16.4%), and the increases in Romania (+21.1%), Poland (+6.5%) and Germany (+2.2%). Building construction declined by 8.6% in the Euro area and by 6.3% across all 27 countries, after -5.9% and -5.1% respectively in April 2012. Civil engineering decreased by 9.3% in the Eurozone and by 10.9% across the EU, after -9.3% and -10.9% respectively in the previous month.
Source: The Construction Index
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A new report has warned that architects’ fees are unlikely to return to pre-recession levels over the next four years.
Business market research specialist MCI said that fees will slowly recover between now and 2016 but said it was unlikely they would get back to levels last seen in 2007.
It said that fees slipped 8% in 2008 before crashing 23% a year later when the recession began to bite.
It added: “Prior to the initial recession of 2008 the value of fees increased and growth was driven by a buoyant construction market with the need to increase housing supply resulting in strong output growth in the private and public housing sector.”
The report predicted only a modest recovery for private housing and said any upturn in private building would be slow and gradual with fears about the Eurozone hampering an upsurge in the commercial sector.
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Yechte Consulting finalises a BIM, fully parametric proposal for a residential refurbishment in Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Britain's economy slid into its second recession since the financial crisis after official data unexpectedly showed a fall in output in the first three months of 2012, piling pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron's embattled coalition government.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne holds Disraeli's original budget box as he leaves 11 Downing Street for Parliament.
The Office for National Statistics said Britain's gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after contracting by 0.3 percent at the end of 2011, confounding forecasts for 0.1 percent growth.
Most economists had expected Britain's $2.4 trillion economy to eke out modest growth in the early 2012, but these forecasts were upset by the biggest fall in construction output in three years coupled with anaemic service sector growth and a fall in industrial output.
Wednesday's figures will be a deep blow for Britain's Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition, which has slid in opinion polls since a poorly received annual budget statement in March and risks embarrassment at local elections on May 3.
The government is also under pressure over revelations about its close relationship with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
The government desperately needs growth to achieve its overriding goal of eliminating Britain's large budget deficit over the next five years.
Britain's economy contracted by 7.1 percent during its 2008-2009 recession and recovery since has been slow, with headwinds from the euro zone debt crisis, government spending cuts, high inflation and a damaged banking sector.
Wednesday's data showed that output was still 4.3 percent below its peak in the first quarter of 2008, and the economy has only grown by 0.4 percent since the government came to power in the second quarter of 2010.
Output in Britain's service sector - which makes up more than three quarters of GDP - rose by just 0.1 percent in the first quarter after falling 0.1 percent in Q4 2011, kept down by a fall in output in the large business services and finance sector.
Industrial output was 0.4 percent lower, while construction - which accounts for less than 8 percent of GDP - contracted by 3.0 percent, the biggest fall since Q1 2009.
Britain's Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts growth of 0.8 percent this year.
Wednesday's data shows that first quarter output was no higher than a year earlier.
The Bank of England has warned that there is a risk of another contraction in the second quarter of 2012, due to an extra public holiday.
But unlike during the previous two quarters, it does not appear keen to provide further monetary stimulus through quantitative easing asset purchases, due to above-target inflation which looks stickier than before.
The BoE, and a number of private-sector economists, had argued before Wednesday that the underlying health of Britain's economy was stronger than ONS data suggested, due to relatively upbeat private-sector surveys and a fall in unemployment.
The ONS's preliminary estimates of GDP are the first released in the European Union, and are based partly on estimated data.
On average, they are revised by 0.1 percentage points up or down by the time a second revision is published two months later, but bigger moves are not uncommon.
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- Britain in double-dip recession as growth falls 0.2pc - Telegraph.co.uk (telegraph.co.uk)
- Britain falls back into recession (theglobeandmail.com)
- Official: Britain staggers into double-dip recession doom (go.theregister.com)
Yechte Consulting finalises renders for a private spa in the United Kingdom.
March saw the strongest upturn in new construction orders since September 2007, four and a half years ago.
The monthly survey of construction industry purchasing managers reports a marked expansion of UK construction sector output, with the rate of growth accelerating for a second successive survey period and confidence strengthening.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 56.7 in March. Up from 54.3 in February, the index has now posted above the 50.0 no-change level that separates growth from contraction in each month since January 2011. Moreover, the latest reading pointed to the sharpest expansion of output in 21 months.
Growth was registered across all three of the broad construction categories monitored – housing, commercial and civil engineering. Commercial was again the strongest performing of the sub-sectors, in line with the recent trend. However, the increase in civil engineering activity strengthened and was the fastest since March 2011. Only a slight increase in residential construction was indicated.
A substantial rise in new business received by UK construction companies was seen in March. Growth has now been sustained for six consecutive months, and the latest rise was the sharpest since September 2007. Panellists commented that a general improvement in market activity, increased tender opportunities and long-running negotiations coming to completion had boosted new work intakes in the latest survey period.
March data signalled a rise of employment in the UK construction sector, reflective of growth of both output and new orders. However, the rate of job creation was only modest. Increased usage of sub-contractors was also indicated.
Purchasing activity rose at the fastest pace for more than four years in March, in line with a faster expansion of output requirements. Subsequently, suppliers’ delivery times lengthened again. Anecdotal evidence suggested that vendors continued to hold low inventories.
Input prices faced by UK construction companies rose sharply in March. Higher raw material costs, particularly for oil, were cited as the main driver of inflation. Nonetheless, the latest increase was below the long-run trend.
UK construction companies were optimistic in March that activity would rise over the next year. Positive sentiment strengthened to a 22-month high, indicating that confidence continued to improve. Expectations for new marketing initiatives, a more buoyant outlook among clients, rising tender opportunities and company expansions are all anticipated to support growth. Nonetheless, optimism remained below the historical average.
Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said: “The good weather appears to have led to a surge in demand for construction projects in March, adding to the recent flow of good news which suggests the economy will have skirted a recession.
“Construction companies reported the largest monthly rise in new orders for four-and-a-half years, driving building activity higher at the fastest rate since mid-2010. Coupled with increasing activity recorded in the first two months of the year, this bodes well for the sector’s contribution to overall growth of the economy in the first quarter and will raise hopes that the country has avoided a slide back into recession.
“Looking ahead, the lack of big new projects such as Crossrail and the Olympics means expectations about the year ahead continued to run well below the pre-crisis peaks, but business confidence nevertheless reached the highest for nearly two years, driven up by expectations of increases in new order intakes and improving client optimism.
“The particularly encouraging news is that the improvement in confidence is generating more jobs, with employment rising modestly.”
Source: The Construction Network
- UK construction PMI reaches 56.7 in March 2012 (newstatesman.com)
- UK construction growth bolsters economic recovery hopes (guardian.co.uk)
- Hewlett continues to weather the recession as it heads into its 25th year (theconstructionindex.co.uk)
- UK Construction Sector Sees Unexpected Boost (news.sky.com)
- Construction firms optimistic despite January slowdown (guardian.co.uk)
- Construction growth slows in January (telegraph.co.uk)
- US factory output rises, but construction falls (newsok.com)
The proportion of architects that are women has dropped from nearly a third to just a fifth in the past three years, making the profession increasingly male dominated.
Since the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) started its Future Trends Survey in January 2009, it has been monitoring employment levels for women architects. When the survey started women made up 28% of architectural staff in practices in the survey. Its latest survey in December 2011 revealed that the figure was just 21%.
RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson described the exodus of women from the profession during the hard times as a cause for concern. The recession had had a “disproportionate impact” on employment levels for women working in architecture, he said.
Mr Dobson added: “The RIBA remains committed to addressing these inequalities through initiatives including the Architects for Change and Women in Architecture groups.”
The RIBA Future Trends Survey for December 2011 also showed that overall confidence concerning future workloads for architects is getting increasingly fragile.
The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index for December 2011 stands at -11, down from -4 in November 2011.
Practices in London and the southeast of England prove more optimistic about future demand for services, while those in Northern Ireland remain the most pessimistic.
Despite the survey showing confidence remaining delicate, it has also revealed that the actual level of work in progress has stabilised in recent months.
The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index stands at -5 compared to -4 in November 2011. Practices located in London are more likely to be recruiting staff during the next quarter than those in the rest of the UK.
Mr Dobson added: “Our respondents and practices continue to report intense fee competition, restrictions in bank lending and uncertainty over the general economic outlook as their main challenges.”
Source: The Construction Index
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