News
Work Increasing for Landscape Architecture Firms, Survey Shows
Aging population a growing influence in project design
2011-07-28

Washington, D.C., July 28, 2011 – Three in four landscape architecture firm leaders reported steady or improving billable hours and inquiries in the Q2 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey. The national survey findings reflect continuing optimism for recovery in a key sector of the design and construction industry.

Overall, 73.8 percent of firm leaders reported stable or above billable hours in the second quarter of 2011 – the strongest number in more than three years. In addition, 75.7 percent reported stable or above inquires for new work. The increase in work has yet to fully translate into jobs, with one in four (24.4 percent) of respondents planning to hire in the upcoming quarter.

“We’re seeing improvement across all sectors of the profession, but I want to caution that the findings also illustrate how little work existed for the profession over the past several years,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA.

The ASLA Business Quarterly survey also asked about the aging population during the past five years. Project types with the most growth include healthcare design (41.7 percent), assisted living facilities (36.5 percent), active adult/retirement communities (35.9 percent), therapeutic gardens (32 percent) and aging-in-place design (29.2 percent).


 Business Quarterly Q2 2011 Chart

Compared to the first quarter 2011, your second quarter 2011 billable hours were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 13.9%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 28.7%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 31.2%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 14.5%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 11.7%

Compared to the first quarter 2011, your second quarter 2011 inquiries for new work were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 12.9%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 30.7%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 32.1%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 13.2%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 11.2%

Year to year, compared to the second quarter in 2010, your second quarter 2011 billable hours were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 19.2%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 27.6%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 22.6%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 15.6%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 15.0%

Year to year, compared to the second quarter in 2010, your second quarter 2011 inquiries for new work were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 17.0%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 31.8%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 24.2%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 14.2%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 12.8% 

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the third quarter of 2011 (multiple answers)?
Yes, we’ll be hiring an experienced landscape architect – 5.5%
Yes, we’ll be hiring an entry-level landscape architect – 7.5%
Yes, we’ll be hiring an intern – 4.4%
Yes, we’ll be hiring support staff – 3.6%
Yes, we’ll be hiring other design/architecture/engineering staff – 5.8%
Yes, we’ll be hiring other staff – 3.1%
No, we’re not currently hiring – 75.6%

Over the past five years, has the aging population influenced your personal landscape architecture practice?
Yes – 31.0%
No – 69.0%

Over the past five years, has the aging population changed or influenced the following practice sectors of landscape architecture?
Residential: Yes – 39.5%; No – 31.1%; Don’t know – 29.4%
Commercial: Yes – 25.8%; No – 44.0%; Don’t know – 30.2%
Public: Yes – 32.6%; No – 40.4%; Don’t know – 27.0%

Percent reporting an increase of the following project types over the past five years:
Healthcare design – 41.7%
Assisted living facilities – 36.5%
Active adult/retirement communities – 35.9%
Therapeutic gardens – 32.0%
Aging-in-place design – 29.0%
Hospitals – 28.9%
Activities/amenities for older adults in non-retirement community projects -- 27.3%
Nursing/long-term care facilities – 25.8%
Single-family residential universal design – 16.5%

About the Survey
The ASLA Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. The Q2 2011 national survey was fielded July 11 through 25, with 365 firm representatives responding.



contact

Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371
ktgrajales@asla.org
@ktgrajales

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