Each month RTM explores the top news and headlines affecting the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) communities.
This April, AEC news has focused a lot on sustainability, which was appropriate given that Earth Day was April 22. Popular topics included renewable energy, energy-efficient equipment and sustainable projects.
A recent report from The Freedonia Group Inc., found that the demand for HVAC equipment is forecast to grow 6.8 percent annually through 2019 to $20.4 billion in the U.S., recording gains over twice the rate of the period between 2009 through 2014. A big reason for this is because of large gains in building construction spending and because of a rising demand for more efficient HVAC systems with more sophisticated technology.
In order to advance hydropower drivetrains, the Energy Department is providing $7 million in funding for the research and development of innovative technologies for low-impact hydropower systems. Hydropower currently supplies about 7 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and is the leading source of renewable power, but there are still untapped resources where new hydropower generating capabilities could boost our carbon-free energy supply.
For the second month in a row, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed an increase in design activity. The score for March was 51.7, which was up from 50.4 in February. The March projects inquiry index was also up to 58.2 from 56.6 in February. This is in part because business conditions across architecture firms are relatively healthy throughout the country.