Architecture firms net highest-earning year since 2016 – Real Estate

British Columbia’s largest architecture firms had their highest-earning year in at least the last five years in 2021, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s list of the biggest architecture firms in the province (page 14).

Last year, average net architectural fees grew 43.4 per cent to $14.8 million from $10.3 million in 2020. The increase followed a 16.8 per cent decline in 2019. Average net architectural fees were 24.6 per cent higher than their previous peak in 2018 ($11.9 million).

Median net architectural fees grew more slowly than did average fees: An increase of 25 per cent to $10 million last year. This suggests that larger companies higher on the list grew more over the past year than did smaller companies lower on the list.

While median net architectural fees did not experience the same growth in 2021 as average fees, they also did not experience as deep of a decline in 2019, when the median fell by only 1.3 per cent.

A main contributor to the recent jump in average net architectural fees is the massive growth of HDR (No. 1), whose revenue skyrocketed 327.3 per cent to $47 million in 2021 from $11 million in 2020, when it ranked No. 5 on BIV’s list. HDR’s growth followed two years of contraction for the company in 2018 and 2019, when the firm’s net architectural fees fell 33 per cent.

Stantec Architecture Ltd. (No. 3) is the only firm in the top five that did not report growth last year. Its net fees decreased 3.9 per cent to $25 million in 2021 from $26 million in 2020.

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