Demand for Design Services Decreases Considerably 

Demand for design services from architecture firms softened considerably in October, according to a report released on Nov. 16, 2022 by The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for October was 47.7, the first decline in billings since January 2021 (any score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings). Inquiries into new projects continued to grow in October with a score of 52.3, while the value of new design contracts declined, with a score of 48.6.

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Promoting Student & Teacher Wellness through K-12 School Design

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average student spends more than 15,000 hours in school by the time they graduate high school, second only to the amount of time spent at home. This makes it critically important to design school buildings that support the physical and mental wellness of students and teachers.

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Thinking Like a Futurist: Using Learning Trends Research to Design Post-Secondary Educational Environments

According to Fisch and McLeod’s popular video, “Did You Know,”1 “we are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.”1 During previous generations, the path from high school to adulthood was linear: eighteen-year-olds went off to four years of college, graduated, and then entered the workforce. White-collar professionals climbed the corporate ladder by learning managerial-based skills on the job and had, on average, only six job changes from college to retirement. But today’s career trajectory is more agile and unpredictable.

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Architecture Billings Index Slows but Remains Healthy

For the eighteenth consecutive month architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in July, according to a report released Aug. 24, 2022 by The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for July was 51.0. While this score is down from June’s score of 53.2, it still indicates stable business conditions for architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month). Also in July, both the new project inquiries and design contracts indexes moderated from June but remained strong with scores of 56.1 and 52.9 respectively. 

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Thoughts on Hiring an EDI Consultant

Paul R. Battaglia, AIA, a principal at Clark Nexsen and the current chair of the AIA Virginia J.E.D.I. Committee recently interviewed fellow J.E.D.I. committee member Mia Gilliam, Assoc AIA, who is also the chairperson of the DEI Resource Group (DEIRG) at Wiley|Wilson about the firm’s experience selecting and hiring a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consultant. The firm has retained the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), based in Richmond, Va., to assist in their efforts.

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Architecture Billings Index Slows but Remains Strong

Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in May, according to the latest Architecture Billings Index report released June 22, 2022, by The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The ABI score for May was 53.5. While this score is down from April’s score of 56.5, it still indicates very strong business conditions overall (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month). Also in May, both the new project inquiries and design contracts indexes expanded, posting scores of 63.9 and 56.9 respectively. 

“The strength in design activity over the past three months has produced a broader base of gains. The Northeast region and Institutional sector have struggled with slow billings activity, but now have posted consecutive months of positive scores.” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With the improvement in inquiries and new design projects, demand for design services will likely remain high for the next several months, despite strong economic headwinds.”

Key ABI highlights for May include:

  • Regional averages: West (59.3); Midwest (56.8); South (52.3); Northeast (51.4)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (57.7); mixed practice (56.2); multi-family residential (54.5); institutional (51.7)

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers. To learn more about recent economic developments impacting design and construction, visit AIA’s website.