Consultant reassures industry that business will not aim to compete with other architects after deal with £17m-turnover firm

Consultant Davis Langdon is to merge with £17m-turnover workplace designer and architect DEGW in a move designed to bolster its consulting business.

However, Rob Smith, senior partner at Davis Langdon, said the merged business would not seek to compete with other architects. The £200m-turnover cost consultant on Friday sealed a deal with DEGW, which had revenues of £17m in 2007, to combine the companies with immediate effect.

DEGW, which specialises in the design of office environments, and has been at the forefront of thinking around the implications of hot-desking and other forms of mobile working, has scaled back over the last year and already largely pulled out of the straight architecture business.

Smith said: “We've no plans to start competing for architectural appointments or become architects.”

Smith said he considered the deal a merger, as DEGW would be market leaders in some areas of the business while Davis Langdon would lead in others, but declined to outline the financials of the deal. The overall firm will still be called Davis Langdon but DEGW will continue to trade under its brand.

Smith added the merger would add a fourth dimension to its offer by allowing it to measure "place" in addition to cost, quality and time. He said: “In the current market, our clients are focusing on their costs - the biggest of which is usually their people and places. The coming together of the two firms will mean we are the construction consultant best placed to advise.”

DEGW was founded in London in 1973 as an off-shoot from architects JFN and now employs 145 people in 12 offices in UK, mainland Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Clients include Microsoft, Google, Nokia, RBS, Deutsche Bank, BP and the BBC.

Despina Katsikakis, chairman of DEGW, said: “The coming together with Davis Langdon enables us to measure the value of place in delivering business performance for our clients worldwide.”