What makes London so distinctive? Some might say the eclectic mix of centuries-old stores and modern venues. Others could point to the diverse communities curling around the banks of the Thames. Yet it’s the city’s ever-changing skyline that points to the significance of the capital city and what its future holds.
London’s property sector is adapting to how we live and work. And it’s bringing out the most innovative sides to British construction. So let’s take a minute to take stock of the capital’s transformative developments…
Construction in numbers
It’s astonishing just how many developments are taking place and the speed at which they’re making their presence felt. Go anywhere in London, and you’ll doubtless see a crane, scaffold deck, or cordoned area in the distance.
When you look at the numbers, the pace of change is really quite astounding...
- A New London Architecture survey has revealed the unprecedented nature of London’s current construction fever. 76 buildings over 20 storeys high are due to be finished by December 2019 – a record for the capital.
- 121 new tall buildings went under construction in 2018, compared to 115 the previous year. When we factor builds in the planning stages too, there were 541 sites towards the end of 2018, up from 510 in 2017.
- The City Cluster, in the eastern quadrant of Square Mile’s financial district, boasts six of the largest buildings. 1 Undershaft is the peak, due to stand 306 metres tall on completion. Others include 22 Bishopsgate at around 290 metres.
What are the motivating forces?
There are several reasons behind the volume and scale of this construction.
First, London’s population has grown by 12% since 2001. Thousands of workers set up here every year, from all over the world. They come for careers in media, finance, technology, retail and politics, to name a few. Over 63,000 homes have to be built annually to ensure that demand is catered for. High-rise developments are the answer in a city that has less and less space for smaller, singular offices and houses.
But the line between work and residential life is getting narrower too. Mixed-use blocks are a common sight in London’s property scene. You only have to look at developments like One Crown Place, with its mix of amenities and office units, or the Principal Tower’s 2,700 sq ft retail lot situated under 273 pristine apartments, to see how popular such sites are.
Alongside these ambitious builds are a growing number of modular building projects. Thanks to their reduced cost and lead time, these units are increasingly favoured by British and foreign investors alike. They also limit disruption to the surrounding areas, as they can be fully constructed off-site.
Both modular projects and their traditional counterparts require niche construction talent to deliver. And, as the market sees increasing diversification, this puts growing emphasis on specialist workers who will be able stretch their skills and execute these carefully thought out plans.
Build Space is well placed to deliver them. We have a proven track record in London’s construction sector, meaning we know its demands, quirks and competitive streak inside out. There’s still a lot to come for this city. Change is in its nature… Speak to us for expert recruitment support as you move within this market.