China Pavillion ready for its red paint

Workers finish construction yesterday on the concrete support structure for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo’s China Pavilion.

IMAGE CREDIT & SOURCE: Shanghai Daily

Firms laying off staff – Editorial

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.

Winners of the RIBA Annie Spink Award 2008 announced

Professor Andrew MacMillan and Professor Isi Metzstein have been named as joint winners of the RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education.

[SOURCE: RIBA – Winners of the RIBA Annie Spink Award 2008 announced].

Emaar launches ERP system to optimize project management – Saudi Gazette

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].

Defying the downturn, city builds even higher – Shanghai Daily

Three months after opening the world’s second-tallest skyscraper, Shanghai is about to start construction of an even taller building – in the face of an economic slowdown and falling property prices.

Construction on the 632-meter Shanghai Tower, expected to cost 14.8 billion yuan (US$2.17 billion), will begin in Pudong’s Lujiazui financial district tomorrow, developers said yesterday.

[SOURCE: Shanghai Daily – Defying the downturn, city builds even higher]

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