The professional world welcomes bad news too easily. You can hardly step into a space without hearing the words “layoffs” and “recession,” and while it is concerning, a positive outlook exists for architects and related professions.
Several architecture firms, such as Little Diversified Architectural Consulting Inc., see no signs of slowing business. As the area’s largest architecture firm with 38 local architects and 93 full-time employees, the firm reports a substantial increase in projects this year compared to the previous two.
The outlook for architects is very optimistic. Between the increasing demand for green building and the importance of sustainable construction, several factors lead to increased business opportunities for the firms. 3D printing is also driving the market, with the technology decreasing costs resulting with up to 75 percent savings and turnaround time of hours and days to present a project.
No signs of slowing down.
While there could be a slowdown, K-12 schools and multifamily opportunities continue to thrive. The push for remote and hybrid opportunities lends to a decreased need for corporate offices and commercial work, but thanks to home real estate disruptions during the pandemic, multifamily homes such as apartments cannot be built quickly enough to meet demand.
For architects, there is more work than ever before. McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture reports an average 30 percent increase in direct contact inquiries compared to the previous year, with some sectors seeing closer to 50 or even 90 percent increases in project inquiries and client contact.
What does this mean for construction?
The pipeline remains strong for architects, with the Charlotte metro market active in new developments across all market sectors. Several manufacturers and automakers are moving towards the Sunbelt, including Hyundai in Savannah, Georgia; Rivian in Atlanta, Georgia; VinFast in Charlotte, North Carolina, and an SK Innovation battery factory in Jackson County, Georgia.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also anticipated that multifamily starts would rise 6.3 percent over 2021. Rising rents, low vacancies and the demand for homes have fueled a red-hot demand for multifamily homes, and developers have to grapple with material and labor shortages to keep the pace of construction.
More than four million Americans work in residential construction, accounting for 2.8 percent of the U.S. employed civilian labor force. Even when economic activity stalled due to COVID-19, home building continued to create additional jobs.
Unlike the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the construction outlook is quite positive as the industry is preparing for another strong year in 2023.
As the industry continues to invest in technologies and other digital structures, construction shifts towards connected capabilities. With such a significant role in supporting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, construction has the potential to accelerate recovery among other segments aside from residential.
Grappling with the labor shortage.
The biggest question, aside from material shortages and supply chain constraints, is the issue of attracting qualified talent. A skills gap in the workforce is becoming more visible as the industry continues to advance by integrating digital technologies and key work streams to enhance efficiency.
Honour Consulting has access to a vast talent pool to help you form new talent management and workforce experience strategies critical to navigating your business challenges. If you are struggling with how to implement changes and overcome the challenge of attracting workers, reach out and call an Honour Recruiter today.