The downturn continues to wield a considerable influence on lead times, with only concrete works reporting an increase since July. Brian Moone of Mace crunches the numbers

01 / Going up

• Concrete works

02 / Staying level

• Precast piling

• Cladding (reconstituted stone)

• Metal panellised cladding

• Atrium roofs

• Profiled metal roof finishes

• Facade cleaning equipment

• Drylining

• Demountable partitions

• Specialist joinery

• Raised floors

• Suspended ceilings

• Architectural metalwork

• Decorative wall covering

• Stone internal floor and wall finish

• Soft floor finish

• Non-standard passenger lifts

• Escalators

• Ductwork

• Controls

• Controls specialists

• Boiler rooms

• Air conditioning

• Uninterruptible power supplies

• Switch gear

• Generators

• Data and voice cabling

• Sprinklers

• Mechanical packages

03 / Going down

• Rotary piling

• Structural steel frames

• Curtain walling

• Cladding (natural material)

• Asphalt and membrane roof finishes

• Brickwork

• Metal doors

04 / Lead times summary

Rotary piling has dropped back four weeks to six after its brief rise last quarter. Precast piling remains stable at five weeks for the third quarter running.

Concrete works have increased by two weeks to 12 mainly owing to an increase in design times.

For structural steel frames the increase reported last quarter was short-lived and they are returning to their stable level of 16 weeks, a drop of three weeks.

Reconstituted stone cladding remains stable at 22 weeks and natural cladding has reduced one week to 31.

Curtain walling having plateaued over the past two quarters, is on its way back down with a fall of one week to 43. Metal panellised systems remains static with a lead time of 36 weeks.

The lead times for atrium roofs remain stable at 27 weeks for the third quarter. Profiled metal roofs have stabilised at 13 weeks. Aspalt/membrane lead times have reduced by one week to eight having stabilised for the past two quarters.

Facade cleaning equipment stays at 40 weeks after its sharp increase from a previously stable level the previous quarter.

Brickwork continues to fall with a further drop of three weeks to four, while blockwork lead times remain stable at five after their fall in the previous quarter. Metal doors lead times have reduced by a further week to five.

Drylining remains at eight weeks for the third quarter with no forecast increase for the next quarter. Demountable partitions remain at eight weeks with forecast indicating a potential reduction in workload.

General joinery and specialist joinery have remained static at 10 and 15 weeks respectively. Raised floors are still at six weeks; there has been no change in this lead time for more than a year.

Suspended ceilings stay at 15 weeks for the third quarter and architectural metalwork has remained static at 12 weeks for more than a year.

Decorative wall covering has remained at four weeks for over two years – with no change forecast.

Internal stone floor and wall finishes remain static at 24 weeks for the third quarter and soft floor finishes have stayed at seven weeks for more than a year.

Non-standard passenger lifts have remained at 31 weeks for the past year; standard lifts can reduce this lead time by around 15 weeks. Escalator lead times remain at 24 weeks.

Electrical packages have reduced three weeks for the second quarter running and now stand at 16 weeks; mechanical packages remain static at 20 weeks, a position they have held for the past 18 months. Ductwork has levelled at eight weeks following the previous quarter’s increase.

Controls remain stable at eight weeks and boiler rooms and standard M&E plant and equipment remain largely unchanged including air-conditioning (14 weeks), uninterruptible power supplies (16 weeks), switch gear, generators (23 weeks), data and voice cabling and sprinklers (nine weeks). However specialist equipment such as biomass boilers and CHP plant are on longer lead in as demand is much higher.

This quarter has seen a significant turn around in the general direction of lead times consistent with the economic difficulties facing the industry. Eight trades have reduced their lead times with only concrete works reporting an increase. Much of the optimism reported last quarter for a turnaround over the next six months has now diminished.

See attached file for Lead Times in Weeks.

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