The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for March 2011 released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) showed a marginal decrease to 50.5 from 50.6 in February 2011.
The score reflects a modest increase in demand for design services, according to the AIA.
The new project inquiry index showed a significant increase, reaching 58.7 in March compared to 56.4 in February.
The midwest recorded the highest ABI of 53.5, Northeast came in second at 51.4, the west recorded an index value of 50.6 while the south was the lowest at 49.7.
In terms of sectors, commercial and industrial sectors recorded a value of 54.7, multifamily residential construction came in at 50.8, mixed practices scored 49.8 while institutional construction was the lowest at 48.0.
AIA’s chief economist Kermit Baker said that some firms were expanding to accommodate increased demand while others are still operating ‘in survival mode’.
“Currently, architecture firms are essentially caught swimming upstream in a situation where demand is not falling back into the negative territory, but also not exhibiting the same pace of increases seen at the end of 2010,” he added.