A report released today by the American Institute of Architects, which is holding its annual convention in Denver, is forecasting slow growth for the buildings sector in the near future. The biggest problem cited in the report, called the AIA Foresight Report, is a current significant shortage of skilled trade workers and likely shortages of architects and designers, starting next year.
 (This is unfortunate but not at all a surprise. Workforce and talent shortages plague almost every recovery, because the laid-off workers have left the industry to seek other means of employment. I have personally observed this to one degree or another at least four times during my time as a construction journalist. )
The 35-page report, produced in partnership with the Greenway Group, also says the trend toward modular construction, and prefab, will continue.
Competition will remain stiff, says the report. In response to the economic conditions, design firms are offering nontraditional services to create new revenue streams. Firms are also seeking in emerging markets outside the U.S.
In terms of the multifamily urban residential market, there is a trend toward micro-housing, which is a euphemism for a studio with a separate kitchen area.
Collaboration remains a buzzword. Better digital tools are still coming. And there is a trend toward measuring the success of a design, using building performance data.
 Sustainability will become "an expected standard," says the report.
digital file of the report is available for $24.99 and the print document is available for $34.99.