Last June, when the British people voted to leave the European Union, the country’s architects nervously pondered how “Brexit” could effect construction. Just months later, they’re already feeling the referendum’s impact. A recent Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) survey of more than 1,100 British architects found that material and construction costs are rising even as projects are put on hold or cancelled due to Brexit.
More than 68 percent of the surveyed architects said they’ve being negatively affected by the referendum, while 12 percent say they’ve gotten additional work from the “new context.” Meanwhile, 61 percent of British architects have seen projects cancelled or paused due to Brexit, and fifth of respondents expressed increased interest in working outside of Britain. Almost 40 percent reported increases in costs for vital materials since Brexit, and 35 percent reported increases in construction costs from contractors. Surveyed architects expressed the greatest interest in getting additional public sector investment from the government.
U.K.’s construction industry had its issues even before the Brexit vote, with already rising construction costs, an unsustainable reliance on skilled workers, and a serious housing shortage. These issues are predicted to only get worse after the split from the E.U. A government-commissioned report said the country’s construction industry needs to “modernize or die.”