Architecture firms began 2022 with a slight improvement in business conditions, according to a new report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for January was 51 compared to 51* in December (any score over 50 indicates billings growth). Inquiries into new work and the value of new design contracts both remained strong with scores of 61.9 and 56.1 respectively.
“Architecture billings, while remaining at very healthy levels in recent months, have slowed considerably from the middle of last year,” says AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “This no doubt reflects delays in the construction sector caused by supply challenges for both labor and materials, as well as ongoing staffing constraints at architecture firms.”
Key ABI highlights for January include:
- Regional averages: South (61.2); Midwest (51.5); West (47.6); Northeast (46.8)
- Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (59.3); commercial/industrial (54.2); multi-family residential (50.1); institutional (47.3)
- Project inquiries index: 61.9
- Design contracts index: 56.1
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
*Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.