Report: Architecture billings see record drop

    Architectural billings are down, signaling a sluggish construction economy. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    U.S. architects saw a record drop in demand for their services in April, a sign of a sluggish construction environment, American Institute of Architects reported.

    AIA’s Architecture Billings Index score of 29.5 for April reflects a decrease in design services. Any score under 50 indicates shrinking demand for U.S. architectural services.

    New project inquiries scored 28.4 and design contracts, 27.6.

    “Our local firms are definitely seeing some slow down in projects waiting for signs of stability before they begin to proceed again,” AIA Iowa Executive Director Jessica Reinert said in a news release. “Once business activity resumes, we expect the demand for design services to pick up fairly quickly. Unfortunately the timeline of the rebound is unknown and the drop in demand might have a lasting consequence on some firms.”

    The Midwest average index was 31.2.

    Perry Beeman
    Senior reporter Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.