For the first time in two years, the American Institute of Architects reported an increase in demand for design services and a growth in design activity for four straight months. The news is based on September's Architecture Billings Index, which also showed that new projects were the highest since July 2007.
“This is certainly encouraging news, but we will need to see consistent improvement over the next few months in order to feel comfortable about the state of the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “While there has been increasing demand for design services, it is happening at a slow rate and there continue to be other obstacles that are preventing a more accelerated recovery. Still, the strong upturn in design activity in the commercial and industrial sector certainly suggests that this upturn can possibly be sustained.”
September highlights* include:
Sector index breakdown:
commercial / industrial (56.3)
multi-family residential (47.0)
mixed practice (44.2)
Project inquiries index: 62.3.
*Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.