“Growing concerns over building design from the pandemic and public awareness of health risks will continue to drive the refurbishment, expansion, and remodeling markets throughout 2021,” said AIA executive vice president, chief executive officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “As the end of the COVID-19 crisis comes slowly into view, it is clear that the pandemic-induced recession created two contrasting economic realities: a strong residential market and a weakened nonresidential market.”

Despite demand for design services and construction activity decreasing significantly during 2020, other design and construction sectors accelerated existing trends and even created positive business conditions for some architects depending on their design focus.

According to the report, Business Opportunities & Sustainability Trends Amidst a Pandemic, the impact on commercial and institutional nonresidential projects was especially negative while demand for architectural services on single-family home projects increased. The report also found that while clients engaged less on sustainability issues during the pandemic, architects working on sustainable projects were not negatively impacted by the pandemic.

“We were pleased to join AIA to support this important research as it uncovers our current uncertain landscape while also demonstrating a continued commitment to sustainability,” said Oldcastle Building Envelope president Liz Haggerty. “It was encouraging to learn that a majority of architects—almost 80 percent—are finding clients willing to invest in buildings that lead to better occupant health and productivity.”

Business Opportunities & Sustainability Trends Amidst a Pandemic is available on AIA’s website.