Mangement For Design

Autumn Release

The Executive Summary for the RIBA Benchmarking Survey

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) executive summary of their Benchmarking survey was recently published. The survey provides fundamental knowledge about how well architecture practices in the UK are performing and how they compare to other practices in the architectural industry. The in-depth evaluation is comprised against the following criteria:

  • Profit
  • Turnover
  • Marketing spend
  • Hourly rates
  • Salaries
  • Client types and sectors.

Similar to our own Business Conditions Survey (results available here), by analysing the survey data professionals are better equipped to shape the future of their businesses and identify areas of strength, weakness and opportunity. All results are key benchmarks but it is advised to consider each benchmark at the correct level for your practice’s size and profile.

Key results from the summary

In general

  • £2.4bn (AUD$4.49bn) total revenue in the past 12 months — 55% from London based practices.
  • £400m (AUD$748m) total profits = 18% of revenue.
  • Practices spend 40% of revenue on paying salaries, increasing with practice size.
  • 32,000 staff employed in practices
  • 124,000 projects worked on by practices in the past 12 months
  • £500m (AUD$936m) revenue from work on projects outside the UK

Larger practices

  • Focus more on new build work
  • Have more clients and jobs, but a smaller number of clients and jobs per person
  • Tend to plan for the next two, three or more years ahead — 71% practices with 50+ staff plan ahead for 2 years or more

Smaller practices

  • Focus more on refurbishment
  • Focused on private housing, particularly for private individuals
  • Tend to plan up to 12 months ahead — only 41% of practices with 3–5 staff members plan ahead for 2 years or more
  • Have a higher success rate than larger practices — more likely to be appointed without being involved in a competitive process.

RIBA will soon be opening submissions to their 2016 annual business benchmarking survey — opening on Friday 29th April and closing on Sunday 31st July. Only RIBA chartered practices can take part in the survey, but the results are equally useful to companies outside of the Institute and the UK.

To see the full set of the results, click here.

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