“Far more than at any point in recent memory, there has been steady rise in the amount of renovation projects that architects have led compared to new construction activity over the past decade plus,” said Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, the AIA's chief economist, in the accompanying press release. “A lot this has to do with green building incentives towards renovations, improved construction methods and products that increase the longevity of buildings, and a slower growing population that reduces the need for new construction.”
National spending on nonresidential (commercial, industrial, and institutional) buildings has seen a strong acceleration in recent years, too. Spending on nonresidential buildings hit a high point of $500 billion in 2008, but then fell to a low point in 2011. Between 2012 and 2015, spending grew by about a third, but it is still 10 percent below the 2008 peak.
Another noteworthy takeaway from the AIA report is an anticipation of emerging technologies, including 3D printing and 4D/5D modeling, which is currently being used by about 8 to 11 percent of firms, respectively.
This article was originally published by Architect magazine on October 6, 2016.