Residential Design Index

The AIBD’s monthly Residential Design Index (RDIndex) is a leading indicator measuring the current workload, backlog, and stock plan sales of AIBD members and non-member Certified Professional Building Designers (CPBDs). Thus, indicating the future activity in the single-family housing industry by virtue of the health and future of residential designs in production, hiring trends and project cancelations or delays. A positive index reflects an increase in new home designs entering into construction estimating, contracting, mortgage and permitting over the next two to three months. A “zero” index indicates no change from the prior month and a negative index means a decrease in new projects entering the next phases over the coming months.


Our Methodology:

The results of each respondent produce an average resulting from the multiplication of each component by a factor reflecting its importance, i.e. a weighted average. The factors given to each answer are calculated as follows: (Increased) 10 points, (Stayed the Same) 0 points, and (Decreased) -10 points. The average resulting from the sum of all respondents divided by the total number of respondents produces the index.


Examples of RDIndex use:

  • A good indicator to help prepare for market fluctuations and ramp-up hiring.
  • An early picture of single family home permitting trends (lead time 6 to 8 months).
  • A trusted tool for residential design and construction professionals, as well as the media, to predict and track movements in the new single-family housing market.



National Results:


March 2019 – Residential Design Index makes another leap upward.

Residential Design Index (RDI) for March 2019.

January 2019 – Single-family home permitting to remain flat through Q1!

Residential Design Index (RDI) for January 2019.

May 2018 – Single-family home starts to be strong through summer!

Residential Design Index (RDI) for May 2018.

February 2019 – 1 point jump leans toward an increase in Q2 Single-Family permits!

Residential Design Index (RDI) for February 2019.

June 2018 – Possible dip in permits in August/September, but still strong until then!

Residential Design Index (RDI) for June 2018.