AIA Firm Survey Examines Health, Profile and Evolving Structure of Architecture Firms

by | Nov 9, 2022 | News

Since 2005 the share of design projects involving renovations, rehabilitations, additions, and historic preservation grew 14 percent, now accounting for 48 percent of billings at U.S. architecture firms, according to a new survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The 2022 AIA Firm Survey: The Business of Architecture, examines topics such as firm billings, staffing, and international work and offers metrics that provide insights into how architecture firms are operating and evolving. The full survey is available for purchase here:

Key highlights include:

Share of multidisciplinary firms continues upward trajectory, from 27 percent in 2002, 36 percent in 2011, to 44 percent in 2021.

  • 29 percent of firms reported that providing services to underserved communities is one of the core missions of their firm. On average, 10 percent of projects at architecture firms in 2021 were for work that served underserved communities.
  • 60 percent of large firms reported having a sustainability or climate action plan in 2021, in contrast to 21 percent of midsize and 9 percent of small firms.
  • Use of BIM software for billable projects among small firms increased substantially in 2021 to 52 percent, up from 37 percent in 2019, as usage remains nearly universal among midsize and large firms.
  • While architecture firms continued to report the largest share of billings from institutional projects in 2021 (43 percent), the share of billings from residential projects increased significantly, rising by 10 percentage points from 18 percent in 2019 to 28 percent in 2021.

“Larger firms are continuing to see market share increases, as firms with 50 or more employees now account for more than half of those employed in private practice,” said Michele A. Russo, LEED AP, AIA Vice President of Research & Practice. “While the long-term impact of this trend is unknown, the fact larger firms are more likely to develop sustainability or climate action plans bodes well for AIA’s climate action goals.”  

Access the complete 2022 Firm Survey Report on AIA’s website.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.