Which Is It Architecture/Design Firms: Making More Money or Losing It Quick?!


We’re only at the halfway mark for this year and what a bumpy, uncertain road its been thus far. First we read of the dire circumstances the architecture industry has found themselves in right now and then we read that Engineering News-Record has just released their annual Top 500 Design Firms survey stating that most of the big name design firms made a killing last year, bumping up their revenues by the billions (admittedly, we had access to this whole survey, but couldn’t quite wrap our heads around it until Architectural Record boiled it down into normal people language). So what’s one to take from all of this? Well, keep in mind that many of these “top firms” work overseas, so there’s your answer. While our pesky American dollars might not be worth much more right now than the paper they’re printed on, firms either based in or getting contracts overseas means loads of other currencies far more valuable than our own. Here’s a bit:

It seems possible that firms earning money overseas may be insulated somewhat from the troubles that have begun to creep into the U.S. nonresidential market. “The lift provided by nonresidential building during the first two months of this year was not present in March,” says Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. “This is consistent with the general pattern expected for nonresidential building, in which the tight lending environment will dampen the volume of commercial projects as 2008 goes on.”