Majority of Landscape Architects Busy but Fewer Plan to Hire

                                                      Firms Report High Interest in Water Efficient Design Elements

Washington, DC, July 15, 2008 — While the majority of landscape architects remained busy last quarter, fewer than three in ten firms plan to hire in the short term, according to the latest Business Quarterly survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects ( ASLA ).

Almost 57 percent of landscape architecture firms reported average or above billable hours in Q2 2008 and just under 50 percent reported average or above inquiries during the same period—slightly above and below the previous quarter, respectively. However, only 29 percent plan to hire in the upcoming quarter, down from 38 percent previously.

“Landscape architects remain one of the few comparatively bright spots in the construction industry. However, tighter lending restrictions and overall economic fears have decreased some of the future pipeline of work—reflected in drop-off in firms planning to hire,” said Nancy Somerville, Executive Vice President and CEO of ASLA .

The survey also asked about interest in water efficient design, with 87 percent of firms reporting interest in these design elements. Nearly eight in ten firms reported interest in native or drought resistant plants (77.7 percent), and close to half of all firms (46.5 percent) reported clients who wanted reduced lawns.

Compared to last quarter, your billable hours are:

Well above average – 6.3%
Slightly above average – 20.9%
Right where they usually are, average – 29.5%
Slightly below average – 29.1%
Well below average – 14.2%

Compared to last quarter, your inquiries are:

Well above average – 3.7%
Slightly above average – 19.9%
Right where they usually are, average – 26.2%
Slightly below average – 33.9%
Well below average – 16.4%

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 billable hours were:

Higher – 22.7%
About the same – 29.0%
Lower – 47.0%
Don’t know – 1.3%

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 inquiries were:

Higher – 18.3%
About the same – 33.7%
Lower – 46.0%
Don’t know – 2.0%

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the upcoming quarter? (Check all that apply):

Experienced landscape architect – 10.9%
Entry level landscape architect – 11.3%
Support staff – 8.6%
Intern – 5.0%
Other – 5.3%
Not hiring – 70.9%

Demand for water-saving/energy efficient design elements:

Native or drought resistant plants – 77.7%
Drip or other water efficient irrigation – 62.8%
Reduced lawn – 46.5%
Water harvesting – 37.9%
Other – 12.3%
No client interest in these elements – 13%

Demand for water features:

Fountains – 54%
Pools – 39.8%
Ponds – 36.3%
Spas – 24.6%
Other – 7.6%
No client interest in these elements – 22.1%

About the Survey

The ASLA Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries, and hiring plans. The Q2 2008 national survey was fielded June 19 to July 3, with 304 firms responding.

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 18,200 members in 48 professional chapters and 68 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use their “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at www.asla.org.

Contact:

Jim Lapides
American Society of Landscape Architects
(202) 216-2371
Email Contact




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