US Architecture and Construction Activity Continues to Rise

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In a piece of good news for both the US construction and architecture sectors, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose by 1.5 points in August.

After facing incredibly harsh times in a post-GFC economic climate, industry practices across the US are now expected to increase further, with the ABI sitting at its best level over the past five months at 50.2.

According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), any ABI reading above 50 indicates a general demand in that area. This is particularly good news for the country’s architecture and construction sectors, and stands as a precursor for further expected growth in the sector over the next year.

“Even though architecture firm billings nationally were down again in July, the downturn moderated substantially,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, “As long as overall economic conditions continue to show improvement, modest declines should shift over to growth in design activity over the coming months.”

While the rise is an indication of increased demand in the industry, a separate inquiry found that this demand is being met, with new projects rising 0.9 points to 57.2.

Multi-residential building still rates as a standout sector, with mixed practice, commercial and institutional works following suit.

Both architecture and construction are expected to see a steady rise of the next nine to 12 months. The interest in design is expected to have a domino effect, translating to development in the form of construction projects, with both offering much needed job generation and resource demand and bringing about economic growth in the industry.

By Emily D’Alterio
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