The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) has indicated a “heightened level of demand for design services” throughout the US. As the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reports, all regions and project sectors have shown positive conditions and the September score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month.
“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”
A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.
The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in August was 56.8.
- Midwest (55.1)
- South (55.3)
- Northeast (51.0)
- West (54.2)
Sector Index Breakdown:
- Multi-family residential (55.3)
- Mixed Practice (53.8)
- Commercial/Industrial (50.8)
- Institutional (54.9)
Key August ABI Highlights:
- Project inquiries index (64.8)
- Design contracts index (56.8)
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. Regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers. Any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services.
News via the AIA.