The global liquidity crunch has caught up with people who plan and design our buildings. Members with the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) say business volumes for the industry have slumped between 50 and 80 per cent compared to the year-ago period with new construction projects coming to a full stop and on-going ones slowing down. While volumes in the industrial segment are down about 50 per cent, architecture firms with exposure to the real-estate segment are the worst hit with business volumes nose diving 80 per cent, says Mr Naresh Narasimhan, an architect.

The real estate industry, he says, is going through a “de-leveraging” process and it could take at least three quarters before things start looking up. In terms of built up spaces, the real-estate industry cashed in on a great demand cycle for the past six years. Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Pune and Hyderabad led this demand drive, vice-president of IIA, Mr Pandurang Potnis says: “The construction speed in the last six months is now down about 50 per cent. The demand for construction of new hotels and apartments are down 25 per cent sequentially.” The response of architecture firms to the crisis is not any different from what the rest of the industry has been following. They have been cutting down the expense fat, improving service levels with existing clients while rationalising systems and processes.

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