The market for international design has traveled a rocky road over the past several years. The slowing growth in China’s economy has led to a drop in demand for commodities, the plunge in oil prices has caused deferrals or cancelations in major petroleum projects, and global political and economic unrest has made investments in some regions uncertain. However, shifting demographics and new demands for infrastructure in underdeveloped countries have many international design firms looking to a brightening future.
The uncertainty in the market can be seen in the results of ENR’s Top 225 International Design Firms survey. The Top 225 firms generated $64.11 billion in design revenue in 2016 from projects outside their home countries, down 2.0%, from $65.43 billion, in 2015 and 9.5%, from $70.85 billion, in 2014. However, the Top 225 had $79.30 billion in revenue from domestic projects in 2016, up 12.1%, from $70.76 billion, in 2015.