Architecture practices throughout Australia are bracing for project delays and cancellations as the impact of COVID-19 takes hold, the latest survey has found.

Releasing the preliminary findings of its COVID-19 Preparing in Architecture Practices survey, the Association of Consulting Architects (ACA) said practices face significant difficulty.

In particular:

  • Of 1,144 response to a question about project delays/cancellations, 654 or 57 percent say they have either had projects cancelled or delayed or expect to have cancellations/delays on projects.
  • Of 1,153 responses to questions about practice management challenges, 681 (59 percent) citied reliance on other parties such as consultants as either very challenging or challenging whilst 633 (55 percent) said likewise about impacts of carer duties such as children or parents on work. Meanwhile, 599 (52 percent) said immoveable deadlines would be challenging or very challenging and 513 (44 percent), 489 (42 percent) and 334 firms (29 percent) said likewise about the need to stand down staff, forced redundancies and negative impacts upon office culture.
  • Of the 1,158 firms who responded to a question about working from home, practices anticipated some or substantial difficulties in internet/NBN speeds (662 – 57 percent)) hardware issues (599 – 52 percent)), software/network/file sharing issues (604 – 52 percent) and cybersecurity concerns (416 – 36 percent).

As part of its survey, ACA asked how it could help members through difficult times.

In response, members wanted a good flow of information, expert advice on numerous issues, more online CPD and greater sharing of experience and advice from practices in order to maintain a strong professional community.

Practices surveyed suggested a need for support in working from home, client communication, contracts/legal matters, employment/HR, insurance, small and regional practice, info on government stimulus and lobbying along with advice and support surrounding good workplace culture.