Architecture Firms Report High Demand for Design Services

Written by Sandy Williams

Demand for design services from architecture firms in the U.S. continued to be robust in May, said the American Institute of Architects. AIA’s Architecture Billings Index rose to 58.5 from 57.9 in April for one of the highest scores in the ABI’s 25-year history. The ABI has expanded every month since January.

The index for new design contracts rose to 63.2, a second consecutive record high. The new projects inquiry index was near a record high at 69.2, said AIA.

“Despite ballooning costs for construction materials and delivery delays, design activity is roaring back as more and more places reopen,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “However, concern over rising inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions, as well as emerging labor shortages, could dampen the emerging construction recovery.”

The Architecture Billings Index is an economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately 9-12 months. A score above 50 indicates an increase in activity, and a score below 50 a decrease.

Key ABI highlights for May include:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (63.4); South (59.0); West (57.4); Northeast (54.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (60.6); multi-family residential (59.5); mixed practice (57.9); institutional (57.1)

Regional and sector scores are calculated as three-month averages.

Latest in Economy