Several of the UK's top QSs are preparing to axe staff as the effects of the credit crunch spread.

Blue chip practice Gardiner & Theobald has put employees on notice of redundancy as part of a consultation that could result in 99 workers, about 9% of UK staff, losing their jobs, reported Building magazine.

Faithful + Gould, the QS arm of Atkins, said it would cut 40 jobs, or 3% of its UK staff, as funding for private developments drops off. Capita Symonds axed 13 staff from its structural engineering team in Cheadle Hulme, and DBK Group said it will cut about 24 staff, or 15% of its workforce.

EC Harris told Building that it is also considering redundancies, while Davis Langdon is considering further cuts on top of the 13 staff it laid off last month.

Architects are suffering as clients put the brakes on projects. Building Design magazine (BD) reported that the many practices could be facing a wave redundancies, or the alternative of switching staff to three or four-day weeks.

One consultant who works with several leading London architects, and wished to remain anonymous, told BD that 15 practices in the last fortnight had told him they were planning to make between a third and a half of their staff redundant, or alternatively cutting the working week by up to 2 days.

Atkins design director Martin Pease also told BD that he expected one in five practices to go bust in the coming months. Meanwhile, PRP Architects’ chairman Andy von Bradsky said the firm had recently laid off a “small” number of staff, and Roger Stephenson, partner at Manchester-based Stephenson Bell said he had made five staff redundant in the past month.