Tag: architecture

Smaller Iron Ore Miners Still Can’t Re-Open at Current Prices

Smaller Iron Ore Miners Still Can’t Re-Open at Current Prices

While this year’s spectacular rebound in iron ore prices has been a godsend for the world’s biggest miners, it has not gone high enough for smaller, less-efficient producers that still have pits shuttered and equipment idle.

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The price of the steelmaking material has nearly doubled in 2016 to above $80 a metric ton, a boon for miners such as Vale, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto which extract the material at a cost of less than $20 per mt.

ABI Limps Out of 2016

Coming off a modest increase after two consecutive months of contraction, the Architecture Billings Index recorded another small increase in demand for design services. As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects an approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the November ABI score was 50.6, essentially unchanged from the mark of 50.8 in the previous month. This score reflects a slight increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

Architecture Billings Slip in August, Negative for Only the 2nd Time in 2016

Architecture Billings Slip in August, Negative for Only the 2nd Time in 2016

On the heels of six out of seven months of increasing levels of demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell just below the positive mark in August.

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An economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects reported the August ABI score was 49.7, down from the mark of 51.5 in the previous month. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

“This is only the second month this year where demand for architectural services has declined and it is only by a fraction of a point,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It doesn’t appear that this is the beginning of a broader downturn in the design and construction industry.”

Architecture Billings Index Close to a 1-Year High in May

Architecture Billings Index Close to a 1-Year High in May

Led by an active multifamily housing market and sustained by solid levels of demand for new commercial and retail properties, the Architecture Billings Index reached its highest score in nearly a year in May.

Free Download: The June 2016 MMI Report

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 53.1, up sharply from the mark of 50.6 in the previous month. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

“Business conditions at design firms have hovered around the breakeven rate for the better part of this year,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Demand levels are solid across the board for all project types at the moment. Of particular note, the recent surge in design activity for institutional projects could be a harbinger of a new round of growth in the broader construction industry in the months ahead.”

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Commercial construction spending fell 3.7% to $72.0 billion in April, but remains 6.8% above April of 2015. Educational construction spending was down 2.4% to $88.4 billion, still 5.4% greater than April a year ago.

If design services are, indeed, in healthy demand then spending should pick up accordingly in the roughly one year between design services and actual construction breaks ground.

Autodesk Releases New Design Suites, Adds ReCap to All

Autodesk Releases New Design Suites, Adds ReCap to All

Autodesk recently released its 2016 software portfolio of design, engineering, and construction products.

Why Manufacturers Need to Ditch Purchase Price Variance

The 2016 suites for buildings and civil infrastructure projects are the Autodesk Building Design Suite, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite and Autodesk Plant Design Suite.

The biggest change is that each design suite now includes Autodesk ReCap, a laser scanning and large image processing program that allows project teams to capture existing conditions and directly import them into a 3D model.

The Revit Building Information Modeling platform also has new rendering engines. The “Mental Ray” rendering engine that has been used since Revit 2008 has been replaced by Autodesk Raytracer and Rapid RT in the 2016 version. This can mean, in some cases, a leap from 2 hours for a detailed rendering to 3 minutes.

Dodge: Large LNG Plant Leads Construction Starts to Jump 9% in January

The value of new construction starts climbed 9% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $621.0 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

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The increase in total construction was the result of especially strong performance in infrastructure starts, which benefited from a massive liquefied natural gas terminal facility in Texas. Nonresidential construction actually lost momentum for the second month in a row.

Architecture Billings Down in January, Weather to Blame?

Architecture Billings Down in January, Weather to Blame?

Following a nine-month stretch of positive billings, the American Institute of Architects‘ Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed no increase in design activity in January.

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The January ABI score was 49.9, down from a mark of 52.7 in December.

Architecture Billings Forecast a Strong US Construction Market

Architecture Billings Forecast a Strong US Construction Market

For 10 out of 12 months demand increased for design services in 2014, and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) points to a healthy outlook for the nonresidential construction industry. As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI has an approximate 9 to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the metals markets of the Construction sector.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 52.2, up from a mark of 50.9 in November. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, following a mark of 58.8 the previous month. Design contracts posted a mark of 49.9, after a 54.9 score in November.

NCARB Streamlines Its Architectural Internship Process

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) recently announced that it is making significant changes to its Intern Development Program (IDP). This is the first major overhaul of the internship rules in more than 50 years.

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The changes includes 2 phases: (1) the removal of “elective” hourly requirements, and (2) condensing IDP’s experience areas from the current 17 into 6 “practice-based categories,” linked to future sections planned for the revised Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 5.0.

NCARB: Has the Time Finally Come for Architectural Licensure at Graduation?

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards is, by nature, a conservative organization. NCARB does not make laws or set licensing requirements, that’s all up to state governments. NCARB is the facilitator of universal testing uniformity across state lines. It is an information and records keep with 100 employees and a $120 million budget. An organization that usually does not make announcements or make itself heard beyond running licensing programs in all 50 states. Some might say they’re even a little stodgy.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the metals markets of the Construction sector.

So it was a big surprise when NCARB actually invited journalists to a meeting at last week’s AIA National Convention and Design Exhibition. Not only was CEO Michael Armstrong loquacious and welcoming, but since taking the position in 2011 he’s been busy transforming NCARB into a nimble organization that’s now asking the controversial question of has the time finally come for architectural licensing at college graduation?

AIA National Convention and Design Expo: Why Metals Love Buildings and Vice Versa

AIA National Convention and Design Expo: Why Metals Love Buildings and Vice Versa

Architects are important to the metals world because they are the ones who specify what products make up much of a building and they work hand-in-hand with structural engineers on the steel frame, concrete or heavy timbers used to hold the structure up.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering Steel/Iron Ore markets.

The American Institute of Architects Annual Convention and Design Expositions will feature speakers such as architect Jeanne Gang, FAIA, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the next three days in Chicago’s McCormick Place.

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