The unofficial end to summer

Around 90% of the people who read this newsletter are from the United States. Today is Labor Day here in the US. In addition, there are more interesting articles to share than on a normal mailing day so I am going to skip the intro this week and get straight to the recent news.

I hope you are out enjoying the unofficial end to summer.


July Billings and Contracts Perfectly Flat

I’ve never seen this before, but both the AIA Billings Index and the Design Contracts numbers were both 50.0. This means both indices were flat over the past month. On a positive note, the economy added 1,100 architectural services jobs in June.

The commentary this month covers staffing with about half of firms reporting that they are appropriately staffed and about 40% of firms saying they are understaffed. These numbers obviously vary by region and firm specialization.

July: 50.0, June: 50.1, May: 51.0, April: 48.5, March: 50.4, February: 48.0

ABI July 2023: Architecture firm billings remain flat

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Engineering Sentiment Continues to Grow

A recent ACEC survey points to engineering firms feeling more positive about their business conditions.

Most of this is based on larger civil works, but Cultural Facilities, Science & Tech, Justice, and Transportation projects all had a positive outlook. Sadly, Education, Industrial, and Commercial sentiment dropped while Healthcare remained flat.

Engineering Business Sentiment 2023 Q3

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NCARB Releases 2023 Licensure Report

NCARB released their annual report on licensure statistics from 2022. There are over 35,000 people currently working toward licensure. In addition, diversity constitutes to improve — 1/3 of new architects are a person of color and 2/5 are women.

If you are a young professional, get out there and start testing. Everyone else should help their colleagues get licensed. You can send them to our review of ARE study materials.

2023 NCARB by the Numbers

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Snøhetta Accused of Violating Workers’ Rights

The lawsuit accuses Snøhetta of discriminating against employees who supported unionization.

Snøhetta named in an unlawful discrimination suit by Architectural Workers United after unsuccessful union drive

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US Building Emissions Down 8.4% in 2023

This is surprising news, especially since the US added 4B square feet to the building stock. While Architectural Record agrees this is good news, they argue it is time to use this momentum to do more.

With Building Emissions Dropping Significantly This Year, It's Time to "Future-Proof" Our Infrastructure

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Encouraging More Minorities to Start Architecture School

Latoya N. Kamdang offers a number of approaches to fostering more diversity in our design schools. Many young people of color have no idea that architecture and building engineering are options they can pursue.

Approaches to a more inclusive profession post-affirmative action

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Develop a Mission and Value Statement

Most large firms have a mission or value statement, but many small firms don’t. And the firms that do have them, generally don’t use them to make decisions. Evelyn Lee suggests making these statements routine resources for firm decision-making.

Why Architecture Firms Need Better Mission, Vision and Values Statements

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Why Can’t We Build Affordable Housing?

It is likely that many of you understand these pressures, but it is worth thinking about how we can help educate the public on why we aren’t out there building tons of affordable housing in our big cities. This article discusses more than just material and labor prices.

What stands in the way of affordable housing?