American Institute of Architects(AIA) reported today that “Business conditions at architecture firms continue to deteriorate, with the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posting its lowest level since the survey began in 1995 for the second month in a row. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the November ABI rating was 34.7, down from the 36.2 mark in October (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 38.3, also a historic low point.
“With mounting job losses, declines in retail sales, and travel cut-backs the need for new commercial facilities has dropped considerably recently,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “What’s just as troubling is that the institutional sector –schools, hospitals and public buildings — is also beginning to react to tighter credit conditions and a weakening economy.”
Key November ABI highlights:
• Regional averages: Northeast (39.5), South (36.8), West (33.5), Midwest (31.4),
• Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (44.5), institutional (40.8), multi-family residential (30.0), commercial / industrial (26.7)
• Project inquiries index: 38.3”
[SOURCE: AIA – Architecture Billings Index Drops to All Time Low for Second Straight Month].
Arabian Business reports
“Disputes between contractors and developers over unpaid contracts in the UAE are close to “breaking point” as liquidity dries up in the real estate market, according to a construction lawyer in the country.”
read the full article @ the SOURCE ArabianBusiness.com – ‘Significant’ rise seen in UAE contract disputes
Adele Weder of thetyee.ca writes a op-ed piece about Vancouver 2010’s architecture and landscape architecture in Uncool: Vancouver’s Olympic Architecture
read the full article @ the [SOURCE: thetyee.ca Uncool: Vancouver’s Olympic Architecture]
Shortlist announced – River Soar Footbridge Competition
The RIBA is delighted to announce the shortlist in the competition to design a new foot and cycle bridge crossing the River Soar in Leicester.
151 expressions of interest were received from all over the world including India, Australia, Iceland, Brazil and the USA. Six teams have now been shortlisted for the second stage design phase and those teams are:
- Allies and Morrison with Price and Myers
- Explorations Architecture, Paris with Buro Happold
- Knight Architects with Gifford Bridge Designers
- McDowell & Benedetti with Arup
- Moxon Architects with Arup
- Ramboll Whitbybird
James Sinclair of Leicester Regeneration Company said “We have been delighted by both the quantity and the quality of the submissions received, even though this has made the selection exercise a very exacting process. We now have an outstanding shortlist of design teams and look forward to seeing the results of their design development in the New Year”.
The shortlisted designs will be submitted in early February 2009 with final presentations held on 19 February 2009 in Leicester.
SOURCE: RIBA – River Soar Footbridge.
Architect’s Journal reports “RMJM Hillier – the North American division of RMJM – has announced that the company will now operate under the name RMJM.”
Scotsman.com reports that RMJM has appointed Eric Allan as the new European commercial director to drive its continuing growth.
[SOURCE: Architects Journal – RMJM Hillier renamed RMJM].
[SOURCE: Scotsman – RMJM reveals new director]