ASLA Q2 2014 survey shows rise in billable hours

August 12, 2014 -  By

asla_logo150The outlook remains positive for landscape architecture firms, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) second quarter 2014 Business Quarterly survey. The survey, which was fielded July 9 to July 31 and had 184 respondents, revealed a marked rise in billable hours and inquiries for new work. Hiring plans rose slightly from the last quarter.

Fully 84.7 percent of respondents reported stable to significantly higher inquiries for new work, an increase from 80.2 percent last quarter. In addition, 82.42 percent indicated stable to significantly higher billable hours, compared to 72.2 percent last quarter.

Year to year, 85.17 percent noted stable to significantly higher second-quarter inquiries for new work, higher than the second quarter of 2013 (83.4 percent). Additionally, 81.32 percent indicated second-quarter billable hours remained about the same or were higher, a jump from the second quarter of 2013 (76 percent).

Of all firms with two or more employees, more than half (51.75 percent) said they planned to hire in the third quarter of 2014, slightly more than the previous quarter (49.4 percent). Some 62.5 percent of firms with 50-99 employees will be hiring an experienced landscape architect in the third quarter of 2014.

“The survey indicates widespread strengthening of the landscape architecture industry,” said Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “We are very much encouraged by the growth shown during the second quarter and rise in hiring plans, particularly among mid-sized firms. Hopefully, these signs point to continued growth for the rest of this year.”

The survey included questions related to ASLA’s 2014 public awareness campaign, themed the “Value of Landscape Architecture.” Some 12.57 percent of respondents noted their firms collected statistical evidence that landscape architecture can add economic value to communities. These respondents added their firms had been able to quantify the following items based on their landscape architecture work:

  • increase in property values (26.09 percent);
  • increase in the number of businesses near multi-use active open spaces (23.19 percent); and
  • reduction in water consumption and costs (20.29 percent).

The respondents also selected the following landscape architecture components that best raise community property values:

  • multi-use active open spaces, including bike paths, parks, trails and gardens (84.06 percent);
  • master plans for high-density urban neighborhoods that combine multi-use active open spaces, sustainability and access to public transit (71.01 percent); and
  • accessible ways to walk to local businesses, including complete streets, trails and sidewalks (62.32 percent).
LM Staff

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