Reflect on the year (and ask for a raise)

I hope those of you in the US enjoyed some time off for Thanksgiving. As we head into the final month of the year, it is time to start thinking about what you have accomplished this year and what you want to accomplish in 2023. Be sure to reflect on the past 11 months as you plan for 2023.

Also, if your firm is still very busy and you have accomplished a lot this year, you should ask for a raise. You’ve heard us say this over and over, but please make sure you are being paid fairly for your position and location. Many firms are finalizing (or already finalized) their 2023 business plan so don’t delay.

Let’s finish the year strong!


Billings and Contracts Decline in October

The October AIA Architecture Billings Index showed the first billings contraction since January 2021, falling to 47.7. New Design Contracts also fell to 48.6, which signals that owners may be reluctant to start new projects. We will have to wait and see data for November and December before there is confidence that this is a trend.

The commentary discusses some other concerning numbers in the broader economy, including a softening jobs market for architects. However, inflation seems to be leveling off as we move into the final months of 2022.

The Dodge Construction Network also predicts a dip in construction starts in 2023.

October: 47.7, September: 51.7, August: 53.3, July: 51.0, June: 53.2, May: 53.5

ABI October 2022: Architecture firm billings take a sharp downward turn

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The AEC Industry is Behind in Climate Goals

While we have made improvements to new building energy and emissions intensity, we are still behind in our effort to decarbonize the building industry by 2050. Gross CO2 emissions and energy demand have increased beyond pre-pandemic levels. And there is concern that investment to improve our buildings may decline due to higher interest rates and a risk of recession.

2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

COP27: Where Are We Going, and Why Are We in This Climate Handbasket?

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Architects Declare Calls for Change in Skyscraper Design

Architects Declare, the UK group “committed to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency,” sent an open letter to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat “to stimulate useful debate on the CTBUH's mission and giving them an opportunity to comment on our call for a shift in their mission.”

It is an interesting read covering a number of studies showing diminishing returns on height and density after a certain point. I am curious to see how CTBUH responds.

Open Letter to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

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Yes, We Still Draw

Architizer released the 100 finalists for their fourth annual One Drawing Challenge. This is an amazing collection of entries covering all types of style and technique. It will take you back to your architecture school days. Some of the entries remind me of the collages done by OMA and the drawings done by Archigram.

Be sure to check out all four parts.

100 Drawings That Tell Powerful Stories About Architecture in 2022

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World’s Largest 3D Printed Community Breaks Ground

We reported on this project a few months ago, but it is fascinating to see photos of the 3D printing equipment in action. The Texas development will have 100 printed homes when it is completed.

ICON and BIG break ground on the world’s largest 3D-printed community