One of the founding partners of Lipton Rogers, Peter Rogers gives us an insight into what he sees 2014 doing for his business.
How sustainable do you believe the economic recovery to be?
I think it’s very sustainable, and although we should be careful about talking about boom there will be steady growth through the year. There’s a lot of work already available, which will fuel growth next year, and I suspect for the year after too.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities for your business next year? Where is growth going to come from?
The moves in central London’s office market, which is where we are mostly based. There’s a lot of interest there at the moment. And also in residential; those two areas are where we’ll concentrate most.
What do you think the greatest danger to your business will be in 2014?
Inflating growth; if we’re not very careful prices will rise, panic will set in. We have an awful habit of boom and bust. We need to contain the growth next year and be sensible. Intelligent buying will be critical.
I also think if people don’t gear up sensibly we’ll see a big influx of imports. It could be that we have to import because local resources become unavailable.
What do you think the construction industry could do to help itself in 2014?
We need smarter management and less bureaucracy. If you go onto any building site the amount of management is frightening. Clearly things like BIM could help, as it reduces the resources needed on a project, giving you more resources to spread elsewhere.
What single realistic policy change from the government would make the biggest difference to your business next year?
The government has to get to grips on environmental issues because at the moment we are wasting a huge amount of money on unnecessary measures. For example, biomass CHP is a mistake for cities. There are a lot of things we should be doing that we aren’t, too, most obviously natural ventilation.
Peter Rogers is a founding partner of Lipton Rogers