Architecture firms focus on sustainable projects

Twice a year, Kermit Baker, the chief economist of the American Institute of Architects, convenes a panel to provide a forecast of nonresidential construction activity for the next six months.

The most recent forecast predicted a 16 percent decline in 2009, and an additional drop of almost 12 percent in 2010. In Atlanta, commercial architecture firms are seeing a similar downturn and are refocusing their firms’ business models to adapt.

“We are certainly seeing a decline in a lot of sectors we work in,” said Fred Perpall, managing principal of Beck’s Atlanta office. “Retail, corporate commercial and also spec office are probably going to be down for the next few years because we’ve got some big overbuilding.”

Perpall predicted commercial financing will come back before demand for commercial work ramps up again.

by Michael Hunter Via