American Institute of Architects Introduces Home Design Trends Survey Results

Greater Demand for Accessibility, Informal Space;

Healthy Housing Market among Key Findings

Jun 16, 2005, 01:00 ET from American Institute of Architects

    WASHINGTON, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Institute of Architects
 (AIA) announces the results of its first-ever Home Design Trends Survey.
 Reflective of an aging population and the "baby boomer" generation approaching
 retirement, the survey results highlight an increasing demand for greater
 accessibility and single-floor design which promotes easier mobility within
 the home.  Fueled by a strong housing market, architecture firms working in
 the residential sector have reported favorable business conditions; with 44%
 of respondents indicating that their overall billings increased by more than
 5% in the first quarter of 2005, while only 10% reported declines in billings
 from the fourth quarter of 2004.
     "Our data demonstrates that the remodeling market, for both
 additions/alterations and kitchen/bath renovations, were the strongest sectors
 in the residential market for the first quarter of 2005," said AIA Chief
 Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  "Additionally, the condominium and
 town house market was nearly as strong, with over half of firms reporting
 improving conditions for these units.  We have found that the primary drivers
 in this particular market are young adults and empty-nesters who are
 interested in moving into urban neighborhoods."
     Click here for the full report:
     Baker also stated that, "There has been a significant shift in consumer
 preference from formal living and dining rooms towards more 'informal spaces'
 featuring an open space layout of family rooms, dens, and activity rooms."
     Key residential design trend findings:
     * Accessibility: 62% of firms reported that homes are becoming more
       accessible with features such as wider hallways, fewer steps, and the
       growing popularity of single-floor design
     * Informal space: 66% of firms reported that "informal space" is
       increasing, along with a trend towards an open space layout in the home
     * Home size: 40% of firms reported square footage of homes is still
       increasing, while only 13% report declines
     * Home layout: 49% of firms reported that finished basements and attics
       are increasing in popularity, as owners of older homes are looking to
       increase their living space
     * Outdoors: 48% of firms reported upscale landscaping is on the increase,
       as is the popularity of outdoor living space with features such as
       decks, porches, and patios
     * Amenities: 30% of firms reported the increase in other outdoor amenities
       including swimming pools, tennis courts, and gazebos
     Firms in all regions reported positive business conditions, with those in
 the South experiencing the greatest gains and those in the Midwest lagging
 behind the other regions.  Another contributing factor to the continued health
 of the housing market is the backlog of projects that firms have reported.
 The average project backlog of work under contract necessary to keep an entire
 staff fully employed is five to five and one-half months.  This figure is
 especially significant due to the relatively short design period and tight
 schedules of many residential projects.
     The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of
 600 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential
 sector. Future surveys will cover home features (special function rooms and
 special features in homes), emerging design trends (design of communities, use
 of technology in the home, new residential products), and kitchen and bath
 features and products.
     About The American Institute of Architects
     Since 1857, the AIA has represented the professional interests of
 America's architects.  As AIA members, nearly 75,000 licensed architects,
 emerging professionals and allied partners express their commitment to
 excellence in design and livability in our nation's buildings and communities.
 Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the
 client, the public, and colleagues of an AIA-member architect's dedication to
 the highest standards in professional practice.
     CONTACT:  Scott Frank of the American Institute of Architects,
 +1-202-626-7467, or

SOURCE American Institute of Architects