Posted in From the Editor on February 5, 2015 9:31 am EST

The Promise of 2015 is Looming Large. Are You Ready?

Economic indicators, construction business reports, and an informal Church Designer survey align in their findings--2015 can be a turnaround year for church-designing AECs.









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TAGS: architectural design, business, economic outlook,


By Carol Badaracco Padgett

“2015 could be a very good year for church design firms. The U.S. economy is growing at a healthy rate…. Inflation, unemployment and interest rates are all low. “ Christian Doering, Church Designer “Talking Business” column contributor, p. 10 in Church Designer magazine's Jan/Feb 2015 issue

Doering, CDM’s AEC business reporter with an MBA from Harvard, says there’s an “economic trifecta” at play in your favor this year. When we consider his business call to action for AEC firms along with the results of an informal survey we sent out on Jan. 20, 2015, in the Church Designer Today enewsletter--sign up here if you don’t already get it: (visit link), we feel a collective rallying cry coming on.

CDM sent the survey in response to a January report by Dodge Data & Analytics stating that a 9% rise in construction starts is predicted for 2015 as compared to the previous year. Since the Dodge report was talking about construction all across the board—albeit, with institutional sector activity being a strong component of that—we wanted to know: What are church designers experiencing? Are they beginning to see an increase in business? Is it too early to tell? And either way, are they optimistic about their expected level of sacred space design in this new year?

Of a modest yet respectable return, this is what our readers reported:


Is your AEC firm beginning to see a portion of its church designs move forward toward construction now that 2015 is underway?

Yes – 92.31%

No – 6.69%


Do you expect to see an increase in billings in 2015 across all sectors of your design work?

Yes – 46.15%

No – 7.69%

Maybe – 46.15%


Do you expect to see an increase in billings in your church design business, specifically?

Yes – 61.54%

No – 15.38%

Unsure – 23.08%


In which of the following categories do you anticipate seeing the most church design business for your firm in 2015?

New build – 15.38%

Renovation – 15.38%

A combination – 69.23%


How optimistic are you that your firm will see an uptick in overall design business in 2015?

Extremely optimistic – 0.00%

Moderately optimistic – 76.92%

Not optimistic – 23.08%

Now we ask, what about you? As an AEC professional with a passion for church design and likely for other community-facing projects, what measures are you taking to snag the business that’s out there? How will you take advantage of this marketplace momentum?

Watch for another online survey soon from CDM addressing this question and others related to it—as well as another recap of the results at

In the meantime, there are jobs out there: “Go get ‘em!”



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