Providing valuable insight into how clients of all sizes find working with architects, the results of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) survey have been announced, after a taster session at Britain’s biggest construction event, UK Construction Week.

Launched at Grand Designs Live in London in May, the survey ran for two months and was completed by 958 participants from a range of different clients including private homeowners, contractors and commercial clients. Immediate Past President and Client Ambassador at RIBA Stephen R Hodder MBE then presented the headline themes from the survey at a special discussion on the main stage at UK Construction Week in October.

The survey found that most clients are satisfied with their buildings, with the highest scores coming from private domestic clients, 76 per cent of whom are ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with their projects overall. Contractors gave the lowest satisfaction scores, with only 51 per cent of them ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied.

Another key finding of the research was how highly rated architects’ design skills are. Clients appreciate their architects’ ability to meet the brief and include important design qualities such as levels of daylight, room dimensions, ease of circulation, and so on.

However, whilst clients gave architects good ratings for some aspects of the process, they were less satisfied with others. Some of these aspects include architects’ commercial understanding, adding value, adhering to the programme and managing work. Contractors gave substantially lower satisfaction scores than other clients with only 30 per cent of them either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with architects’ process management performance.

The survey marks a new phase in the work of the RIBA Client Liaison Group, who recently organised a series of roundtable discussions, assessing the relationship between architects and clients. The survey is a direct consequence of these conversations and will attempt to bond the relationship closer together.

Stephen Hodder MBE commented: “These findings are a vital body of intelligence for the profession and the RIBA. The results show the need for even closer collaboration between our profession and our clients; they present positive learning points for agile architects.”

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for UK Construction Week, commented: “It’s been a privilege to promote this brilliant piece of research. At UK Construction Week we’ve always put an emphasis on getting to the heart of the industry’s conversation and addressing salient issues. With this survey, RIBA is taking an identical approach and we’re confident the results will be a huge benefit to the entire sector.”

Returning to the Birmingham NEC, the dates for UK Construction Week 2017 are set for 10 – 12 October. For more information about UK Construction Week or to register your interest for next year’s show, please visit www.ukconstructionweek.com or follow @UK_CW on Twitter.

To find out more about the RIBA for Clients initiative, please visit here

To download a PDF copy of the report free of charge, please visit here

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