On the heels of a nearly three-point increase, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) climbed into positive terrain for the first time in five months... The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 50.2, up from the mark of 48.7 in July. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services. The new projects inquiry index was 57.2, up from mark of 56.3 the previous month. — aia.org
Since the beginning of the recession in early 2008, architecture firms have collectively seen their revenue drop by 40 percent and have had to cut personnel by nearly a third. Despite a national recovery from the recession in 2009, construction activity continued to spiral downward, according to the recently release 2012 AIA Firm Survey — aia.org
Those residents, unable to move back into houses they still have to pay for, have spent nearly a year in legal limbo...
More than 2,000 developments begun during that period have turned into “ghost estates,” ...Others, built under a system that allowed developers to “self-certify” — meaning that they could unilaterally declare, with only minimal government oversight, that their properties complied with building codes — are now falling apart, even while residents live there. — NYTimes
Architecture firms in the Boston area are continuing their recovery from the sharp declines in 2008 and 2009, according to the 2012 Architectural Survey from accounting firm CBIZ Tofias.
In 2011, these firms saw a slight improvement from the slowdown, which for most firms began in 2008. There were slight increases in the direct labor utilization rate (the percentage of time worked on billable projects) and the profit per direct hour compared to 2010. — boston.com
As growth slows, China's huge investment in infrastructure is looking ever harder to sustain, leaving a string of ambitious projects - towns, shopping malls and even a theme park - empty and forlorn. — bbc.co.uk
American builders last month began construction on the highest number of new homes since October 2008, with housing starts jumping 6.9% in another encouraging sign for the housing market. — latimes.com
The Milllennials, the generation born from 1983 onwards, enjoyed a childhood free of bunkbeds or even shared bathrooms. Growing up in plush megahomes undoubtedly helped them become, in the words of one author, “self-centred, needy, and entitled with unrealistic work expectations.” Oddly, it also spawned a group of people patently unimpressed with backyards and breakfast nooks. — news.nationalpost.com
"Apple's state-of-the art campus brings at least $100 million dollars in investment to California and generates no additional greenhouse gas emissions," Brown said in a statement to this newspaper, listing two of the requirements Apple had met to qualify under the law. "On-site fuel cells and 650,000 square feet of solar panels will provide clean, renewable energy for more than 12,000 Apple employees on the new campus." — siliconvalley.com
"I think that [austerity] is used as a cliche because people don't have ideas, they want to crib [old ones] to do bad stuff," she said, in a Q and A session with Guardian deputy editor Kath Viner. "Schools, housing, hospitals – I think the government should invest in good housing." — guardian.co.uk
The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped significantly last month. Nationwide architecture work had begun to contract in April, but sunk by a considerable amount more in May. The May ABI score was 45.8, down from an already contracting 48.4 in April. Inquiries for new projects also dropped, from 54.4 to 54.0, the lowest score in a year. — architectmagazine.com
For generations, government policies have been geared toward creating endless landscapes of strip malls... In the process we have gutted our traditional downtowns. We have eaten up farmland and forest. We have, as Nate Berg reported this week, endangered the lives of our senior citizens. We have engineered a world where children cannot walk or bike to school without risking their lives. We have created countless places devoid of any real social value. — theatlanticcities.com
David Harvey, theorist and author of Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, says that postwar capitalism can be understood with reference to the history of urbanisation and suburbanisation. Urban investment gets you out of a crisis but defines what the next crisis is going to look like, he argues. The emerging powers of the east are now in the midst of a massive urbanisation project and could fall victim to the same outcome. — guardian.co.uk
After five months of positive readings, the Architecture Billings Index slipped back into negative territory during April, an indication that demand for design services declined.
The score for April was 48.4, compared with 50.4 in March. — online.wsj.com
For the first eight years of our marriage, [Michelle and I] were paying more in student loans than what we were paying for our mortgage. So we know what this is about.
And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans—check this out, all right, I’m the President of the United States—we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. — Barack Obama
... the ABI is a pretty good leading indicator of non-residential construction levels a year or so down the track. It’s often not a bad indicator of broader economic conditions either. For example, the index’s low of late 2008 came a little before U.S. stocks’ post-crisis nadir in March 2009. It’s been on a general uptrend ever since. As have stocks. There’s a crumb of good news, here, then, because the ABI has now been rising for four straight months. — blogs.wsj.com
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