Consulting (architecture, landscape, engineering) Firms across the global are starting to lay people off with some firms trying to hold out until after Christmas or New Year.
In the USA firms reports from Seattle Times, Daily Journal of Commerce(Portland) report hard times for firms with some already laying off staff as many local and international projects have come to a halt.
In the USA, Germany, UK, Australia and China firms have started laying off workers as developers and governments place holds on projects as credit becomes tighter and property sales take a dive. Some developers are diversifying into hotels and commercial developments but as business expansion slows and travel reduces it will be a matter of time before these dry up also.
Some firms are merging whether is pre-planned or a matter of desperate times is anyones guess although many firms seek mergers as it is the quickest way to grow revenue and their client base.
On the up side some firms are taking a more pro-active approach with asking staff to take salary cuts and taking the slow down as a good time to train up staff on IT skills and project management.
Many firms are taking a short term approach and lay off staff they may pay a bigger price in long term as they lose experienced staff with company knowledge and training who may not be willing to return or new staff not willing to take a chance.
With the current short term looking grim through 2009 we are sure to see many changes in the consulting services industry with failures, mergers and many leaving professional practice to enter academia.
Saudi Gazette reports
“Emaar Middle East, the business subsidiary of Emaar Properties PJSC focused on various Middle East projects, has launched an advanced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to streamline project management and overall growth.”
[SOURCE: Saudi Gazette – Emaar launches ERP system to optimize project management].
”The Dubai government has indicated that it is looking at holding down the roll out of upcoming housing units to steady the emirate’s real estate market. The announcement comes as the authorities also denied that a rumoured merger between the city’s two biggest developers, Emaar and government-owned Nakheel Properties, was on the cards.”
SOURCE: AMEinfo.com – Dubai to hold property roll out as Emaar, Nakheel merger denied
WSP Group USA has been ranked No. 1 on the authoritative ZweigWhite list of fastest-growing engineering, environmental and architecture firms for 2008. This award reflects the firm’s consistent growth and success at outperforming the economy and their competitors to become market leaders.
WSP Group USA provides a broad range of speciality services to the energy, environmental, real estate, transportation and infrastructure sectors through four operating units: WSP Flack + Kurtz, WSP Cantor Seinuk, WSP SELLS and WSP Environment & Energy.
[SOURCE: Ewire.com – WSP GROUP USA TAKES TOP HONORS IN ANNUAL \HOT].
“North American design firm Stantec announced today it has offered to acquire Jacques Whitford, an environmental consulting services firm with more than 1,700 employees and 40 offices principally in Canada. The company’s trailing twelve month gross revenue is approximately C$230.0 million and net revenue is about C$170.0 million.
“Jacques Whitford is a leading provider of environmental management, remediation, and geotechnical engineering services and their addition will significantly strengthen our core capabilities in our Environment practice,” says Tony Franceschini, Stantec President & CEO. ”
George Eastman House
Rochester, New York
November 19, 2008 to January 4, 2009
The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Garden Design magazine, and George Eastman House
International Museum of Photography and Film Announce the 2008 ‘Landslide’ Designees:
Marvels of Modernism
Modernist landscapes with boomerang curves, reservoirs inspired by Joan Miro paintings, animated fountains, soaring roof gardens, geometric earthworks, futuristic Fair grounds, and sunken and expansive plazas all became celebrated design elements during the nation’s massive post‐World War II development. These experimental and innovative expressions, adopted by maverick landscape architects such as Dan Kiley and Lawrence Halprin, became a catalyst for inserting Modern design sensibilities into newly minted public and private spaces. During this period, designers, their clients, and patrons utilized revolutionary new and experimental materials, and subdued transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces to infuse Modern forms into classic sensibilities. However, until recently, many of these designs have been misunderstood and underappreciated. To draw attention to these irreplaceable works, the 2008 Landslide theme: Marvels of Modernism, spotlights our diverse postwar garden and landscape heritage.
[SOURCE: Cultural Landscape Foundation]
Read more @ the Exhibition Website