The U.S. construction market remains mired in a recession, with few, if any, markets spared. In 2009, design firms looked for a turnaround this year, but so far there has been little relief. Industry companies now await a bounce back in 2011. However, leaders of the largest U.S. design firms, those on the cutting edge of any recovery, say there still are too many economic, political and financial uncertainties to predict when the marketplace will turn a corner.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.