March ABI Fuels Industry Optimism

April 21, 2017

March provided additional reasons for optimism at architecture firms nationwide as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reflected an overall increase in billings, including a billings increase in all four regional averages.

The ABI provides an approximately nine- to 12-month glimpse into the future of architecture billings and non-residential construction spending, with any score above 50 indicating an increase in billings, and scores beneath 50 reflecting a decline.

The March reading of 54.3 showed a significant jump from February’s 50.7, with regional averages also showing billings growth (Midwest, 54.6; South, 52.6; Northeast, 52.4; and West, 50.2).

In a release issued by the American Institute of Architects, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD, said, “The first quarter started out on uneasy footing, but fortunately ended on an upswing entering the traditionally busy spring season. All sectors showed growth except for the commercial/industrial market, which, for the first time in over a year displayed a decrease in design services.”

The sector index breakdown was multi-family residential (54.6), mixed practice (53.7), institutional (52.9), commercial / industrial (49.8). Meanwhile, the new projects inquiry index was 59.8, down from February’s reading of 61.5, while the new design contracts index dipped from 54.7 to 52.3.

Graham Windows Aid in Riverfront Mill Restoration

April 20, 2017

Developers in Lowell, Massachusetts, have brought new life to a five-story building described in a 2011 newspaper account as “a dangerous, dilapidated and once-majestic riverfront mill.”
Constructed in the early 20th century, the structure, known locally as the Picker Building, had become noted for graffiti, debris and the trees growing through its roof.
Yet developers …

Dodge Momentum Index Pushes Forward – Again

April 11, 2017

The Dodge Momentum Index jumped 0.9 percent in March, marking its sixth consecutive monthly advance.
The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.
Once again, the index’s institutional component …

Persistence Pays: GAP Windows Grace Milwaukee Student Housing Community

April 6, 2017

Mark Henry chased the contract for 16 years. It was a former bottling plant – one of more than 20 buildings on the one-time Pabst Brewery site in Milwaukee, WI – and though long-abandoned, it was ripe with possibilities.
Time and again, Henry, representing a window manufacturer, and Jim Moon, representing a window dealer, took …