Architectural firms are steadily reviving projects that were put on hold during the last economic downturn.
About three quarters of the estimated 700 firms that serve as panelists on AIA’s Architectural Billings Index (ABI) had delayed or canceled major design projects in response to recessionary pressures. Nearly one-third of those firms now say they have since restarted stalled projects.
Mixed-use projects were the most likely to receive new life. But only 26% of the panelists surveyed say they’ve restarted residential projects.
AIA says that the loosening of construction credit and a general improvement in the industry’s outlook on the economy continue to drive billings and construction spending. The ABI in August stood at 53.0, lower than the 53.6 score of August 2013 or the 55.8 in July 2014. AIA notes, however, that any ABI score above 50 indicates growth.
August billings were stronger than the national index in the Northeast and South, and for multifamily residential and mixed-practice projects.