The American Institute of Architects’ latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index dropped from 58 in March to 56.5 in April, but still above the benchmark of 50 (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries and design contracts also decreased from the previous month, from 63.9 to 62.3, and 60.5 to 55.4, respectively.
According to AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, billings indicate that the bulk of new architectural work is being done on existing buildings rather than new construction. “Billings for reconstruction projects exceeded those for new construction for the first time in the last two decades,” he said. “While the reconstruction share of building activity will continue to ebb and flow, in general, we’ll continue to move toward an increased share of building activity for reconstruction and a decreased share for new construction.”