Based on the results of ENR Southeast's Top Design Firms survey, it appears that the region's architects and engineers are starting to feel more positive about business activity. As I noted previously, 115 firms responded to this year's survey, and collectively reported a significant $3 billion in regional revenue, up considerably from the previous year's $2.3-billion tally. Looking into that data further revealed that several firms experienced significant gains in business activity during the past year.
And LS3P was one of the firms that stood out during closer inspection. The Charleston, S.C., architectural firm reported nearly $47.7 million in 2013 Southeast revenue from the Southeast region, an increase of roughly 23% from the year prior. According to the firm, that bump in business "can be attributed to an overall increase across many sectors," including from the higher education, religious and residential sectors. As a result, the firm is in hiring mode, having added 25 staffers in 2013, with plans to bring on more during 2014. 
Additionally, for the Southeast region as a whole, LS3P earned the top spot in the Architecture subcategory, with a $45.7-million total for this work type.
As always, the designation of our "Firms of the Year" goes beyond a review of the numbers. ENR editors reviewed information from nominated firms related to recent projects, sustainability efforts and community outreach, among others. And when the votes were tallied, it added up to the designation of LS3P as this year's Design Firm of the Year.
We'll have more information about LS3P and its latest endeavors in the upcoming May edition of ENR Southeast—which will also include our annual ranking of the region's Top Design Firms. Also in that issue, we'll have perspective from Southeast design firms about the current business conditions. If you'd like to offer your insights on the latest trends, I encourage you to email me, at