Database Could Spur Economic Growth

July 11, 2011

Here’s a list that could be potentially valuable for wealthy and struggling Americans.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is creating a database of construction projects across the country that make economic sense but were stalled due to a lack of funds.

The database will be shared with potential investors, not just to help them increase their portfolios but also to create jobs and help stimulate the economy.

aia logo: key with buildings in it.“We are committing to developing this database not just with the fortunes of architects in mind,” said AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. “In large part the fortunes of the entire U.S. economy rest on the jobs-creating potential of the design and construction industry, which accounts for $1 in $9 of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

Extremely tight lending standards by banks have been putting the kibosh on credit-worthy projects all over the country.

Almost two-thirds of architects surveyed recently by the AIA reported at least one project being stalled due to a lack of financing, and of the 63 percent of firms surveyed with stalled projects, the average value of each project was almost $50 million per firm.

“For months, our industry has continued to suffer solely because banks won’t lend,” said Manus. “With this innovative, unprecedented commitment, the AIA has decided to step up and do something about that.”

The database idea was unveiled at CGI America, the Clinton Global Initiative that was held here in Chicago at the end of June and focused on ways to create more U.S. jobs.

To construct the database, the AIA is going to research stalled projects around the country to find ones that are ready to move forward on almost every level but financing.

Identified projects will then be analyzed and categorized by various factors, including:

*Building type location, including those with a strong, skilled workforce

*New construction versus retrofit

*Impact on sustainability

*Livability goals

The database will be put together over the next few months. Seems like a good way to make the most out of a bad economic situation. Let’s hope it makes a difference.

Categories: Economy

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