Architects: News Is Bad, But There’s Still Hope

While newspapers, blogs, and TV shows have focused on the stock market’s plunge and the unsuccessful bail-out plan, architects have been facing the bad news for a while, according to an Architectural Record story. As of August, the Architecture Billings Index, which the American Institute of Architects (AIA) compiles partially from firms’ statistics, had dropped below 50 for seven straight months, striking 39.7 in March, the lowest mark in the index’s 13-year history. Next year appears more gloomy, according to a July report from the AIA’s Consensus Construction Forecast Panel. Hotel construction will fall 10 percent; office construction, 12 percent. The AIA has established a webpage to address these issues and more. Even the construction of institutions such as hospitals is susceptible, although this writer attended an Academy of Architecture for Health summit leadership conference this summer in which numerous speakers said that the health care architecture would be the one specialty that would continue to have growth during this troubled economy. So…don’t give up hope, just refocus.