Client/Owner Trends
Illustration: Lauren Nassef | Art Direction: Jelena Schulz

A Client Wish List

  • Want architects to understand their unique needs and meet them
  • Perceive architects to have the capacity to flesh out possibilities and think strategically
  • Recognize the value add that architects bring from having clients in entirely different industries than their own
  • Interested in a better integration between architect and contractor upstream
  • Want architects to function as a partner, not a vendor
  • Look to architects for new ideas, trends, best practices, and technological innovations
  • Don’t see architects doing enough to call attention to their value. (Nowhere was this perception stronger than among clients who themselves were architects.)

Source: AIA Minnesota, Architects in Commerce Research Initiative (2012)

Top Three Reasons Clients Like Green Building

  1. Rising energy costs (53 percent)
  2. Corporate social responsibility (49 percent)
  3. Long–term ROI (37 percent)

Source: AIA Economics and Market Research Client Survey (2014)

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

  • Eighty percent of owners expect future projects to be completed with added costs due to design mistakes made by the architect, 12 percent expect there will be no added costs, and 8 percent are unsure.
  • Among owners who anticipate added costs, 40 percent say that 1 to 2 percent is acceptable, 38 percent say that 3 to 5 percent is acceptable, and 15 percent say that 6 to 10 percent is acceptable.

Source: McGraw-Hill/AIA Large Firm Roundtable SmartMarket Report (2014)

Satisfaction Spectrum

  • Eighty-six percent of owners report a high level of satisfaction with quality on their projects (regardless of owner size or project complexity), 63 percent are highly satisfied with cost, and 64 percent are highly satisfied with the schedule.

Source: McGraw-Hill/AIA Large Firm Roundtable SmartMarket Report (2014)

Clients’ Top Two Metrics for Design Team Performance

  • Ability to develop documents that meet the owner’s program requirements and prove that a project is constructible within budget
  • Ability to work with other team members to solve issues (rather than escalate them to the owner)

Source: McGraw-Hill/AIA Large Firm Roundtable SmartMarket Report (2014)

That Old BIM Magic

  • Clients who used Building Information Modeling (BIM) were 15 percent more satisfied with their architects during the procurement phase of the project, and 17 percent more satisfied during the construction phase, than clients who did not use BIM.

Source: AIA Economics and Market Research Client Survey (2014)

Causes of Uncertainty, According to Owners, In Order of Severity

  • Unforeseen site or construction issues
  • Design errors; design omissions (tie)
  • Contractor-caused delays
  • Owner-driven changes; accelerated schedule (tie)
  • Construction coordination issues

Source: McGraw-Hill/AIA Large Firm Roundtable SmartMarket Report (2014)