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US design recovery gathers pace

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Mixed-use work rocketed as the US design recovery picked up more pace last month

The American Institute of Architects’ closely watched Architecture Billings Index registered a score of 53.8 in August, where anything above 50 represents an increase on the previous month’s workloads.

The August score was up from 52.7 in July and 51.6 in June as the country’s construction industry moved up through the gears.

Mixed-practice billings registered 60.1 in August, a massive increase on the previous month’s workloads.

All sectors saw a boost though, with commercial and industrial work at 54.8, multi-family residential 52.1 and institutional 50.8.

The new project inquiries index was a healthy 63.0, suggesting workloads will continue to rise as we head into the autumn.

All regions are benefiting from the upturn, with the West posting 54.8 in August, followed by the Northeast at 54.4.

The Midwest – which suffered a three-month slide in billings earlier this year – saw solid growth in August with a reading of 52.8.

The South had a reading of 51.9, still representing an increase on July billings.

‘It is fair to say that the design professions are in a recovery mode,’ said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker.

‘This upturn signals an impending turnaround in non-residential construction activity, but a key component to maintaining this momentum is the ability of businesses to obtain financing for real estate projects, and for a resolution to the federal government budget and debt ceiling impasse.’

AJ reported this week that a competition has been launched to rebuild the Lower Mississippi River Delta in America’s Deep South.

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