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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

U.S. architecture billings index falls in January | Reuters

So here's a thought for you. I'll leave this one up to Randy for his expert opinion. Here's the premise. Revit is more efficient that AutoCAD. It takes half the time to model a building. That lowers design fees for architects who are afraid to ask the owners for more money for designing a building that is constructable with fewer clashing issues. Take that and add to it the contrators who have hired in house architects and have become design builders.

Wouldn't that completely skew the architecture billing index? You'll never be able to use that as a metric again. Revit has messed up your industry that much. It's like trying to figure MPG on an electric car. They really don't have a good way for you to make the comparison.

Do contractor led BIM, IPD or VDC projects get included in the ABI? Hmm.. ABI sounds like RBI. No that's not runs batted in, it's Revit BIM Integration. Thoughts?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/23/usa-construction-abi-idUSN2211629220110223Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:01am EST

* January ABI 50.0, down 3.9 pts

* New projects index falls 5 pts to 56.5

* Cautious optimism for design industry: AIA

NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - A leading indicator of U.S. nonresidential construction activity weakened last month after two months of improving numbers, an architects' trade group said on Wednesday.

The monthly Architecture Billings Index fell almost 4 points in January to 50.0, a level that indicates neither expansion nor contraction of demand for design services, the American Institute of Architects said.

The billings index is considered a predictor of construction spending about nine to 12 months in the future, since buildings are designed long before they are erected. The latest readings suggest an anticipated recovery in U.S. nonresidential construction may not gain traction this year.

A separate index of inquiries for new projects fell more than five points to 56.5, according to the AIA.

"This slowdown is indicative of what is likely to be a very gradual improvement in business conditions at architecture firms for the better part of this year," said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. "We've been taking a cautiously optimistic approach for the last several months and there is no reason at this point to change that outlook."

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U.S. architecture billings index falls in January | Reuters


randydeutsch February 24, 2011 at 7:32 AM  

Wow. I turn my back for a few minutes and there's 6 new posts! You've been hustling, Gregory. And you even announced the AutoCAD WS app update faster than the time it took for the update to pop up on my iPhone. Smokin'!

Interesting take on the billing index. Here's what I'm seeing: most architects are unable to leverage more fee for working in BIM. This is for 2 reasons: BIM's use is still not always driven by the owner. This leads to the 2nd reason: owners need to be informed and convinced of BIM's many benefits. I know you are daily doing your part on this front - we all need to.

I am also not seeing projects taking considerably less time to produce for teams working in BIM. This is probably due to architects not always knowing what level of detail is desirable vs. necessary to produce the model and documents, and the general law of nature that we will fill in whatever time we are given (an architect, like nature, abhors a vacuum.) This will change with greater comfort and familiarity with the tools and process - its coming soon, just not quite there yet.

Mike Jones March 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM  

I'm curious, do you have numbers on the number of Revit (Arch/MEP/Structure) seats vs Autocad or ADT seats nationwide?

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