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New projects for architects rise to highest level in nearly five years

March 21, 2012 02:15PM

The demand for arhchitects to design new projects in the U.S. has reached its highest point in nearly five years, according to the American Institute of Architects’ February Architecture Billings Index, released today. The new projects inquiry index rose 2.2 from January to 63.4, the highest total since July 2007.

The overall index, which counts a score greater than 50 as an indicator that billings have increased, reached 51.0, one-tenth of a point above January’s level. It’s the fourth consecutive month the index has achieved a score higher than 50.

Much of the positive score came from the commercial and industrial sectors, which reported a billings index of 55.1. That was followed by multi-family residential, 53.3, institutional projects, 50.3, and mixed practice, 46.3.

“This is more good news for the design and construction industry that continues to see improving business conditions,” said Kermit Baker, AIA’s chief economist.

The index is often a precursor to future construction spending. — Adam Fusfeld