AIA Focuses on Neighborhood and Community Growth for Q3/2013

Americans are indicating that they prefer higher-density, more walkable neighborhoods. Image Courtesy of AIA

The AIA just released its third quarter Design Trends Survey for 2013. Key findings have been made since the previous survey, specifically on neighborhood and community trends.

Courtesy of AIA

Since early 2012, residential architecture firms  – especially those in the Sunbelt region – have seen a steady increase in projects in every sector except for second and vacation homes.

Courtesy of AIA

Unlike a decade ago, infill housing developments continue to rank as the most popular residential types among others. In correlation to this, households are continually desiring better access to public transportation, mixed-use facilities, and higher-density development, indicating preference for more walkable, multi-generational neighborhoods that offer recreational activities integrated into the community.

Courtesy of AIA
Courtesy of AIA

In addition, “Smaller homes are highly prized in many markets across the country,” says the AIA, with front and side porches remaining a popular option despite the growing demand in clean, contemporary finishes in exterior detailing. Durable, low-maintenance and fire-resistant materials such as stone, tile and natural earth plasters dominate the materials palette of most homes.

Courtesy of AIA

As of the third quarter, 47 percent of respondents indicated an increase in inquiries, compared to 12 percent reporting a decline. As a result, the national billings score was 63.0 for the quarter (any score above 50 indicates growth.) Current backlogs are at 4.5 months, up from 3.7 months in last year’s third quarter. (Backlogs, “the amount of work currently in house and under contract that reflects the number of months these projects would keep current staff without new work coming in).

In contrast, new construction has not reported such a speedy recovery. Over the coming quarters, the share of respondents reporting improvement in the new construction sectors will likely catch up with those reporting gains in home activity.

To see the full report, visit the AIA Design Trends Survey page.

Check out our previous coverage from the second quarter, here.

Cite: Jose Luis Gabriel Cruz. "AIA Focuses on Neighborhood and Community Growth for Q3/2013" 20 Dec 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=459955>