Cost consultant Turner & Townsend has unveiled ambitious plans to expand in the commercial sector and has picked up a raft of contracts.

T&T's cost management arm, which has been strong in public sector projects, is aiming to double its workload in the commercial sector by the end of the year.

Paul Connolly, commercial sector leader at T&T's cost management arm, said that his team had delivered 150,000 m2 of buildings in 2003/04 and 250,000 m2 in 2004/05. He said that he planned to increase that figure to 500,000 m2 in 2005/06.

Connolly said a high level of merger activity was creating "a lot of real estate programmes" for the firm, while other factors influencing the growth included the value of property around rail stations and high demand for shopping centres. Developers were also cashing in on regeneration projects.

"We're now working a lot more intelligently by joining up specialists - say, a commercial specialist and a transport specialist - to offer a one-stop-shop service to clients."

New clients in the past year have included Microsoft and J Sainsbury, as part of an expanded framework of five QS firms. English Heritage has also signed up T&T to explore options for relocating its headquarters.

Connolly said he was aiming to double the size of his team to about 100 by the end of the year.