per the AIA Home Design Trends Survey
In more housing construction news, results from the first-quarter AIA Home Design Trends Survey show that residential architects are reporting better business prospects. Billings at residential architecture firms are up, showing more growth than they have in six years. 35 percent of the firms that participated in the survey reported a billings increase in the first quarter of this year over the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to only 22 percent that reported a decline. Importantly, the improvements in business conditions are happening in each of the major regions in the country.
Construction statistics from the month of May suggest that the housing market may be showing signs of recovery despite other areas of the economy weakening. A report in the Washington Post indicates that the Commerce Department revealed that construction of single-family homes increased 3.2 percent in May. This was the third straight monthly increase for construction of single-family homes. However, apartment construction (which is usually volatile) fell 21.3 percent, causing the housing market as a whole to fall 4.8 percent.
From 2001 through 2010, some of the most severe claims against firms in our environmental program derived from manufacturing projects, with an average indemnity payment of $220,956. Indemnity payments from office building/bank projects averaged $213,157. Claims stemming from civil engineering projects (highways, bridges, tunnels, and dams) had average indemnity payments of $130,627. The following is an example of a real claim made against an environmental policyholder:
California continues to push its green design and sustainability agenda into new territory. As the GreenBiz blog published (which was a reprint of a blog entry written by Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog (NRDC)), the California Energy Commission (CEC) recently voted to approve new energy efficiency standards for residential and commercial buildings.