AIA Forecast for 2017 Shows Continued Growth in All Sectors, Led by Institutional Building

March 2017

With construction spending continuing on an upward trajectory, 2016 can be considered a successful year for the nonresidential building sector. For 2017, the American Institute of Architects semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast is projecting growth in overall nonresidential building spending of almost 6 percent, just below the pace of growth for 2016. The commercial construction sectors—retail, office and hotel—will continue to lead the building recovery, while industrial construction is projected to see almost no increase this year. For 2018, the institutional construction sectors will generate much of the growth, particularly the large education structures market.
“Though most conditions look favorable, virtually every segment of the design and construction market is reporting that recruiting and retaining qualified staff is a growing issue,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA. “Many workers left the industry during the downturn, and others left the workforce entirely, and rebuilding a competent and productive workforce is a challenge, particularly when the national unemployment rate is below 5 percent.”