2014 starts with some good news for the profession, with increases expected in private commercial spend, office buildings in particular, and government infrastructure, including defence and transport. In addition, lows in interest rates and improved housing affordability are expected to encourage an uplift in housing starts and an increase in residential construction spending. According to Australian Construction Industry Forum forecasts, total construction activity for 2013-14 is projected to amount to $229 billion, roughly as it was 2012-13. Those interested in gaining a full understanding of patterns and the outlook for construction should review the macro projections and construction aggregates as well as the detailed picture provided by ACIF.
There are a couple of big events to start planning for in the next couple of months. First, on March 20, the presentation of the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards will take place at Peppermint Bay in Tasmania. The AAAAs is an occasion to celebrate those individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to society through architecture and the built environment. Among the accolades is the announcement of the 2014 Gold Medallist, who will also make a special address on the night.
Then in May, the National Architecture Conference – Making 2014, will be held in Perth. I encourage you to register in the next few weeks, not least because early birds get a 20% discount. Making 2014 will explore four subthemes: Making Culture, Making Life, Making Connections and Making Impact. Each session will be ‘anchored’ by leading Australian practitioners: Andrew Burns (Making Culture), Elizabeth Watson-Brown (Making Life), Emma Williamson (Making Connections), Timothy Horton (Making Impact), who will be joined by a host of incredible guest speakers.
I’d just like to quickly congratulate our teams in Victoria and the NT on their recent moves to 41X and Unit 3/4 Shephard St respectively. Tremendous efforts from all involved and thanks especially to members for their patience during the relocations.