Another quarter goes by without a single increase in any works package, and this time seven have fallen. There are also reports of a reduction in secured workloads, says Brian Moone of Mace

01 / Staying level

  • Rotary piling
  • Precast piling
  • Structural steel frames
  • Cladding (reconstituted stone)
  • Curtain walling
  • Metal panellised cladding
  • Atrium roofs
  • Profiled metal roof finishes
  • Facade cleaning equipment
  • Brickwork
  • Blockwork
  • Metal doors
  • Drylining
  • General joinery
  • Specialist joinery
  • Raised floors
  • Suspended ceilings
  • Architectural metalwork
  • Decorative wall covering
  • Stone internal floor and wall finish
  • Escalators
  • Electrical packages
  • Ductwork
  • Controls
  • Boiler rooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Uninterruptible power supplies
  • Switch gear
  • Generators
  • Data and voice cabling
  • Sprinklers

02 / Going down

  • Concrete works
  • Cladding (natural materials)
  • Asphalt and membrane roof finishes
  • Demountable partitions
  • Soft floor finishes
  • Non-standard passenger lifts
  • Mechanical packages

03 / Lead times summary

Rotary piling lead times have remained at five weeks for the past year and precast piling has remained stable at five weeks for the past 21 months. The lead time for concrete works has dropped a week to eight following a levelling off last quarter.

After a six-month run of reductions in lead times, structural steel frames have stabilised at 15 weeks.

Cladding (reconstituted stone) lead times remain at 21 weeks for the third quarter running. This is the shortest since our records began in 2002. The lead time for cladding (natural materials) has reduced by a further seven weeks to 22: a total drop of nine weeks over the past six months. Curtain walling has remained at 27 weeks for the third quarter, and metal panellised cladding also remains static, with a lead-in time of 36 weeks.

Atrium roofs have remained stable at 27 weeks for more than a year. Profiled metal roofs have stabilised at 12 weeks after a one-week reduction last quarter. Asphalt and membrane roof finishes have, for the second quarter running, dropped by a week to reach six weeks. Facade cleaning equipment has dropped rapidly in the past few quarters, but has stabilised at 33 weeks.

Brickwork remains stable at four weeks, blockwork remains at five weeks, as do metal doors.

Drylining continues to be stable at eight weeks. Demountable partitions have reduced by one week to six, the lowest level since our records began in 1999. The lead time for general joinery is static at 10 weeks and specialist joinery remains at 14 weeks for the second quarter running.

Raised floors are static at six weeks; there has been no change here for more than a year, as is the case for suspended ceilings at 15 weeks and for architectural metalwork at 12 weeks.

For decorative wall covering the average lead-in of suppliers has remained at four weeks for two years – with no change forecast. Internal stone floor and wall finishes have remained static at 24 weeks for more than a year, but soft floor finishes have reduced by one week to six, having remained at seven for more than a year.

Non-standard passenger lifts have fallen five weeks after remaining at 31 for more than a year. Escalators remain at 24 weeks.

Electrical packages have stabilised at 14 weeks following consecutive reductions, however, mechanical packages continue to fall, this quarter by two weeks to 15.

Ductwork has remained at eight weeks for more than a year.

Controls remain static at 15 weeks for the third quarter running.

Hard landscaping is at eight weeks for the fourth consecutive quarter.

The lead time for logistics services has fallen one week to five (not shown on graph).

Generally, lead times have fallen for the third consecutive quarter with no packages reporting an increase. Seven packages are reporting reductions in the time taken from receipt of order to mobilising on site, and a total of 13 have reduced their lead times over the past nine months. Reconstituted stone cladding has reported the largest reduction, a fall of seven weeks to 22; this is owing to increased capacity and improved availability of materials. Non-standard passenger lifts have also reported a reduction of five weeks, down to 26; this is attributed to an increase in standardisation.

Most contractors continue to report a reduction in their secured workload as well as the number of enquiries they are receiving. They also report no issues regarding the availability of labour, plant or materials.