July 11, 2008
  Nonresidential Construction Expected to Be Turning Down by Year’s End
AIA Consensus Forecast Panel sees significant easing of commercial activity, while institutional construction remains flat
The downturn in design activity that architecture firms have been reporting in recent months is projected to produce a mild decline in nonresidential construction activity this year, before turning down more significantly in 2009. Commercial facilities generally will see the steepest declines this year and next, as institutional activity is expected essentially to remain stable over this two-year period. These are some of the key results from the AIA’s midyear Consensus Nonresidential Construction Forecast Panel, according to AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. Even with the downward revision of these forecasts from last winter, they remain in a range that would produce a relatively modest drop-off in nonresidential activity; significantly milder than the two most recent nonresidential recessions of the early 1990s and earlier this decade.

Banking • Human Resources • Public Works

Banking: Woes are slowly trickling down to local banks.
Human Resources: New amendments and guidelines will broaden ADA.
Public Works: In coming years, infrastructure projects will drive recovery.

Reminder: Fantasy Architecture Submissions Due July 18
The fantastic, the impossible, the improbable, or the just ahead of its time—AIArchitect wants to see it all for our second annual theme issue later this summer. The August 22 edition of AIArchitect will be liberated from the confines of physics, cost, and function to present our readers with the best in fantasy design for design’s sake. But we need your help! If you’ve got a project—built or unbuilt—that fulfills your fantasy (or your client’s), please submit a one-page description and no more than five JPEG files of your design to Managing Editor Stephanie Stubbs. All submissions must be received via e-mail by July 18 and will be selected for publication by the AIArchitect staff. (Pictured is an aquatic research and housing facility designed by Jason Mellard, Assoc. AIA, LEED-AP, which was featured in last year’s Fantasy Architecture issue. To see last year’s issue, click here.

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Welcome to the Business Zone
This is the place for our monthly Work-on-the-Boards survey report, quarterly Housing Trends survey report, and biannual Consensus Forecast, all by AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. You’ll also find tips for managing the business side of your practice, as well as the weekly Kiplinger Connection.