Slow Down in 2013 Nonresidential Building Activity


With slower than expected activity in the nonresidential construction sector in the first half of the year, the projections for growth in spending have been scaled back, reports the American Institute of Architects.

Led by the hotel and retail project categories, the commercial sector looks largely unchanged, but a noteworthy drop in demand for institutional projects has caused participants in the AIA semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast , a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters, to reduce projections for spending to a 2.3% increase in 2013, with next year’s projections raised to 7.6%.

“A disappointing recovery of the U.S. economy is limiting need for new nonresidential building activity,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Optimism for a stronger performance next year is based on the recent increase in domestic energy production, the boost to the general economy from a resurgent housing market, and improving employment figures that should help drive demand in the design and construction sectors.”

Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts 2013 2014
Overall nonresidential 2.3% 7.6%
Commercial / industrial 8.5% 11.5%
• Hotels 17.4% 15.0%
• Retail 8.2% 11.7%
• Office buildings 5.8% 9.5%
• Industrial facilities 4.0% 6.3%
Institutional -1.8% 5.6%
• Religious 1.5% 6.0%
• Healthcare facilities 1.4% 7.7%
• Education -2.5% 4.8%
• Amusement / recreation -4.1% 6.5%
• Public safety -4.8% 1.0%


The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is conducted twice a year with the leading nonresidential construction forecasters in the United States including, McGraw Hill Construction, Wells Fargo Securities, IHS-Global Insight, Moody’s, Reed Business Information, Associated Builders & Contractors and FMI. The purpose of the Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is to project business conditions in the construction industry over the coming 12 to 18 months. The Consensus Construction Forecast Panel has been conducted for 14 years.  Read More.