New architecture grads need mentors

It is the time of year where the 2023 graduating class of architects, interior designers, and engineers are putting the finishing touches on their thesis projects. Many have attended or will attend career fairs looking for their first permanent job.

We don’t have many college students among our readers, but we do have lots of professionals who will participate in interviews or make hiring decisions.

To those of you in that camp, please take the time to meet with, and encourage, this new group of aspiring designers. Some firms are desperately in need of young designers, but others are struggling to keep people busy. I know times appear uncertain, but we lost a lot of talent to other professions during the last recession and we need to keep these recent graduates on the design side. Even if you can’t hire, please give them encouragement and guidance.

And if you aren’t part of the hiring process, you can still help by taking a new graduate under your wing and mentoring them through their first job. Get them on a track toward licensure. Be there to help answer the questions they are afraid to ask. Remember what it was like showing up on your first day, barely able to make use of the parallel bar, CAD, or BIM.

These young people are the future of our profession. Let’s get them started on the right track!


P.S. - you might want to tell them to subscribe here! 🙂

March Billings Increase, but Contracts Decline

After five months of contraction, the Architecture Billings Index ticked slightly above 50 in March, signaling an increase in billings. Unfortunately, new Design Contracts fell below the contraction level to 48.9. 

Architecture firm employment has remained flat since November with month to month increases or decreases offsetting each other.

The commentary this month focuses on how clients view the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, which covers Health, Resilience, Equity, and Zero Carbon.

March: 50.4, February: 48.0, January: 49.3, December: 47.5, November: 46.6, October: 47.7

ABI March 2023: Business conditions improve slightly

: : :

Construction Costs Rise, but Moderate Slightly

First quarter 2023 construction costs are in and, as expected, continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace than in 2022.

The Turner Cost Index showed a 1.28% increase, which represents a 7.49% annual increase.

RLB’s Q1 2023 report showed a quartlerly increase of 1.4%. Their report showed an an increase of 8.11% across the United States in 2022.

It appears that inflation is moving down in the construction sectors, which is a good sign for clients who put their projects on hold.

: : :

ACEC Asks for Help with Engineering Shortage

Linda Bauer Darr, the President of the American Council of Engineering Companies, sent a letter to President Biden asking for help in bringing more qualified engineers to the United States.

In the letter, Darr said that 49% of engineering firms turned down work because they don’t have the staff available. Her solution is to continue expanding STEM education as a long-term plan, but also to allow for more visas so that engineering students from other countries can stay here to work after they graduate.

ACEC Sends Letter to President Biden on Workforce Issues

: : :

ASHRAE Publishes Net Zero Standards for Construction

In an effort to standardize calculations for zero net energy and zero net carbon, ASHRAE issued Standard 228. While this standard doesn’t provide guidance on how to develop design goals or requirements, it does provide guidance on calculations for site/source energy and provides allowances for sites that cannot produce renewable energy.

This should help create consistency and will give local jurisdictions a break from establishing their own requirements for calculating Net Zero.

ASHRAE Publishes First Zero Energy and Zero Carbon Building Evaluation Standard

: : :

Award Season is Here

While I don’t normally post about awards (you get plenty of that from other sources) it is worth acknowledging our colleagues for their contributions to design and construction.

AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) 2023 Top Ten

Yasmeen Lari named 2023 RIBA Gold Medal Recipient

American Academy in Rome 2023-2024 Prize Winners

Carol Ross Barney Receives 2023 AIA Gold Medal