Our industry has proven resilient in recent years, facing and overcoming a number of challenges. As we look ahead to the latter half of 2023, our Managing Director Lisa Kerford shares an insight into our business and the factors affecting our industry.
It’s fair to say that market conditions are still challenging and somewhat unpredictable, but there are also many reasons to feel positive. The construction sector generally started the year in a strong position and last year, we saw an increasing number of new project enquiries which is a positive sign.
One trend we are certainly seeing is shorter term new development project planning and this is largely due to the high level of economic uncertainty. With rising interest rates, talk of a global recession and increasing energy prices, it’s not surprising that developers are being cautious when it comes to long term commitments and planning. In the same vein, we’re seeing a change in the way projects are funded meaning we must be agile and adaptable in the way we work with our partners.
We are, however, being kept busy with the resumption of projects that had slowed during the pandemic, and project decisions that had been delayed now being taken. It’s great to see these projects start to take shape. Coupled with this, supply chain issues are easing and there has been a slowdown in cost increases and availability improvements. We’re also finding it easier to recruit high calibre talent into roles across our business.
The global push for more sustainable working practices and a reduction in carbon is continuing to impact our sector. As a business, we’re undertaking many initiatives to become more environmentally considerate, some of which you can read about in our recent ESG Report. We’ve looked at everything across our business to see where improvements can be made; from our relationships with suppliers to our project management process and the building materials we select.
The green agenda has also influenced the type of work we’re handling, with an increasing number of electric vehicle charging point projects and an increase in the numbers of developments moving from gas to electric heating options. Further investment in renewable energy generation and green infrastructure is on the horizon and this will continue to shape the work we’re doing.