AIA Consensus Construction Forecast

Even with modest improvements in the overall U.S. economy, nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by more than 20% in 2010 with a marginal increase of 3.1% in 2011 in inflation adjusted terms. Poor conditions remain because of an oversupply of nonresidential facilities in most construction categories, weak demand for space, continuing declines in commercial property values, and a strong reluctance to provide credit from real estate lenders. These are highlights from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters.

“There are a number of factors at play here that are contributing to one of the steepest construction downturns in generations,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We have businesses nervous about expanding their facilities, a fragile financial sector, excess commercial space, and general unease in the international economy. Things should begin to turn around midway through next year with retail and hotels expected to see the strongest growth, along with healthcare and amusement and recreation facilities.”

The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is conducted twice a year with the leading nonresidential construction forecasters in the United States including, McGraw Hill Construction, Global Insight, Moody’s, Reed Business Information, and FMI. The purpose of the Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is to project business conditions in the construction industry over the coming 12 to 18 months. The Consensus Construction Forecast Panel has been conducted for 12 years.

Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts
Overall nonresidential
2010 -20.3%
2011 3.1%

2010 -43.3%
2011 8.7%

Office buildings
2010 -29.1%
2011 0.0%

2010 -25.6%
2011 7.6%

2010 -21.3
2011 -2.0%

2010 -14.4%
2011 8.1%

2010 -13.2%
2011 1.3%

2010 -10.2%
2011 0.0%

Public safety
2010 -9.1%
2011 -0.7%

Healthcare facilities
2010 -6.5%
2011 5.1%


  1. We AIA members have been informed for two years now about the dismal economic conditions our profession has been enduring and the bleak forecasts that come along with it, especially as it applies to the private sector credit lending practice shortfalls.

    What we haven’t read from our Cheif AIA Economist is the plan that the AIA has crafted in pressing our professions issues with Congress and DC politicians. There are many of our fellow architects out there hurting from this turmoil we are faced with an the bad news stories keep mounting month after month, yet with no offering by the AIA in any plausible plans for assisting us.

    It’s easy to be the town crier over these very obvious reasons plaguing our profession. However, we as a Union of Members of the Profession deserve better than what we are reading in this. Wake up AIA Cheif Economist, and bring forth the plan that will move us thru this next decade of development that we can present to Congress as a unified force.

  2. There’s nothing like a career in architecture for the “Faint of Heart” for the next decade or two!

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