Landscapers Short On Green, Too

Landscapers Short On Green, Too

We’ve been tracking the AIA Architecture Billings Index ever since it took a dive last spring. But what about the rest of the design industry? Well, the American Society of Landscape Architects released its quarterly survey of member firms, and the numbers are no better than their brick-and-mortar friends.

In fact, the numbers are even worse, with only 16 percent of firms experiencing growth in their billings and 43 percent having stable or rising inquiries. Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the society, said that with the market the way it is, the downturn was to be expected.

“The reduced demand for landscape architecture work comes as no surprise considering the current problems with the economy,” Somerville said in a release. “International projects, particularly in the Middle East and Pacific Rim, are a strong and expanding source of work for many firms. Domestically, the public sector remains the most robust source of projects.”

Not surprisingly, architects are seeing the same trends. As for the landscape designers, those are:

Compared to last quarter, your billable hours are:
Well above average – 5.6%
Slightly above average – 17.3%
Right where they usually are, average – 21.1%
Slightly below average – 38.3%
Well below average – 17.7%

Compared to last quarter, your inquiries are:
Well above average – 2.3%
Slightly above average – 14.7%
Right where they usually are, average – 25.7%
Slightly below average – 35.5%
Well below average – 21.9%

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 billable hours were:
Higher – 17.9%
About the same – 23.7%
Lower – 58%
Don’t know – .4%

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 inquiries were:
Higher – 12.5%
About the same – 27.8%
Lower – 59.3%
Don’t know – .4%

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the upcoming quarter?:
Experienced landscape architect – 6.8%
Entry level landscape architect – 9.4%
Support staff – 7.9%
Intern – 4.1%
Other – 6.4%
Not hiring – 74.4%

Role of sustainability issues in candidates’ platforms:
High on candidates’ agendas – 9.4%
Cited more than in the 2004 campaigns – 38.9%
About the same as 2004 – 14.0%
Cited less than 2004 – 4.2%
Not a significant part of the candidates’ agendas – 31.3%
Other – 2.3%