RIBA monthly survey also shows increasing pessimism over staffing levels

Nearly a third of architects expect their workload to drop in a July survey by the RIBA - a figure 3% worse than June.

The survey found 30% of practice expect a further decline in the volume of work, compared to just 6% of practices anticipating an increase in workload.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, said he thought architects’ perception of their industry was the result of a “significant impact from public sector capital spending cuts”. He said: “Smaller practices report that it remains very challenging for them to overcome obstacles to access to public sector procurement programmes in general.”

The survey also quizzed architects on their predictions for staffing levels with 3% more expecting staffing to decrease rather than increase. 12% of architects thought the number of workers at their practices was due to drop (compared to 11% in June), and nine per cent believed staff numbers were set to rise (up from 8%).

Dobson said he felt the survey results reflected that employment prospects for architects were “unlikely” to experience “any significant short-term improvement”.

Dobson also said the feedback he received from architects highlighted the “intense fee competition” between practices. He said: “In their anecdotal comments, our practices continue to report intense fee competition with consequent continuing downward pressure on profit and salary levels.”