There was very little change in the final quarter, suggesting that the rise in enquiries earlier in the year failed to translate into increased workload. Brian Moone of Mace reports


Rotary piling
Concrete works
Specialist joinery


Pre-cast piling
Structural steel frames
Rotary piling
Cladding (reconstituted stone)
Cladding (natural materials)
Metal panellised cladding
Curtain walling
Atrium roofs
Asphalt/membrane roof finishes
Profiled metal roof finishes
Facade cleaning equipment
Metal doors
Demountable partitions
General joinery
Raised floors
Suspended ceilings
Architectural metalwork
Decorative wall covering
Internal stone floor and wall finish
Non-standard passenger lifts
Electrical packages
Security systems
Logistics services
Soft floor finishes
Mechanical packages
Hard landscaping


Rotary piling lead times have increased by one week to seven weeks since last quarter.

Pre-cast piling has been at five weeks since 2008 and contractors are reporting that workload is either the same or quieter.

Concrete works have increased by one week to eight weeks. Structural steel frames remain at 16 weeks.

There is no reported change in lead times for cladding - re-constituted stone , which have remained at 21 weeks since 2009; cladding - natural material has been at 28 weeks since the beginning of 2011; metal panellised cladding has stayed at 27 weeks since Q1 2010 and no change is forecast by contractors; curtain walling has remained at 31 weeks since the middle of 2010.

Atrium roofs are stable at 27 weeks since Q2 2008, with no change forecast. Contractors have continuing to report six-week lead times for roof finishes -asphalt/membrane since the end of 2009, with no change forecast. Roof finish - profiled metal has been at 12 weeks since mid 2009.

The forecast increase in lead times for facade cleaning equipment has not happened; they remain at 37 weeks.

Brickwork remains at five weeks and blockwork at six weeks. Workload remains quieter than six months ago.

Metal doors remain at nine weeks.

Drylining stays at eight weeks; workload remains high but no change is forecast.

Demountable partitions have remained level at six weeks since the end of 2009 - no change is forecast in the next six months.

General joinery remains at 10 weeks - a position it has held since mid-2008. Specialist joinery has increased by one week for the second quarter and is currently at 19 weeks.

Raised floors remain at six weeks, and have been unchanged since 2007. Enquiry levels stay the same and the increase in workload has levelled off. Suspended ceilings remain at 16 weeks, with no increase reported for the next six months.

Architectural metalwork has remained at 12 weeks for more than a year; the previous rise in workload and enquiries has died down. The average lead time of decorative wall covering contractors has remained at four weeks for more than two years, with no change forecast. Internal stone floor and wall finish lead times remain at 23 weeks, and soft floor finishes have been at eight weeks since the end of 2010.

Passenger lift - non standard stays at 26 weeks, although this can be longer for more complex designs.No change is reported for escalators , which remain at 24 weeks.

Electrical packages remain at 14 weeks; workload is up but there is no change in the lead times forecast in the next six months. Mechanical packages remain at 18 weeks, despite a reported increase in drawing production and approval. Ductwork remains at eight weeks; enquiries and workload are currently up.

Sprinklers have stabilised at eight weeks following last quarter’s reduction, due to improved mobilisation time. Security systems have remained at five weeks for over two years; controls have been at 15 weeks for over a year.

Hard landscaping remains at eight weeks, with no change forecast.

Logistics services stay at five weeks, with no change forecast in the next six months.

The optimism created by last quarter’s enquiry levels and increased workload appears to have dissolved, with many contractors reporting enquiries and workload similar to or quieter than last quarter.

The main increase in lead times is around the heavy civil engineering created by the infrastructure projects (see overleaf), and in particular Crossrail. A number of trades are reporting increased turnaround time for design approvals; this has resulted in an increase in lead times for specialist joinery.

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