Demand for design services dipped last month, according to the November edition of the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) released by the American Institute of Architects. The cold snap marks the second time in 2013 that the ABI has declined. (An index score above 50 indicates growth, whereas a score below 50 indicates contraction.) The ABI mark for November was 49.8, down from a 51.6 score in October, indicating slight contraction.

New project inquiries slowed, too, from 61.5 in October to 57.8 in November. Last month was only the fourth month in 2013 in which the project inquiries figure didn't break 60, making this year easily the strongest since 2007.

National Highlights:
National billings: At 49.8, down from October's 51.6, the national billings score has come in under 50 for just two of the 11 months of 2013, and only two of the last 16 months total.
Project inquiries: At 57.8, down from 61.5, this has come in under the high bar of 60 only four months this year.


Regional Highlights:
Northeast: At 47.5, down from 49.7, this is the second month of contraction for the region, following a 14-month positive streak that ended with October's index.
Midwest: At 51.6, even with October's score, this marks the fifth straight month of growth for this region.
South: At 52.0, down from 54.4, this is the 17th straight month for this region above 50.
West: At 50.2, down sharply from October's 55.9, this month ends 15 straight months for the region above 50.


Sector Highlights:
Commercial/Industrial: At 48.6, down steeply from 53.7, this month curbs a 13-month streak of positive growth for the sector.
Multi-family Residential: At 55.2, down from 57.0, this is the 19th straight month for the sector above 50.
Institutional: At 47.7, down from 50.2, this month ends 15 straight months of growth, though the figure has usually hovered just above 50.
Mixed Practice: At 53.1, November's score is only slightly down from October's 53.2, marking the 15th straight month of growth.