AIA 2012 Firm Survey: A Bleak Backward Glance. The AIA has released its 2012 Firm Survey, and brace yourself–Cormack McCarthy’s bleakest novel would make for more cheerful reading. The AIA reports that for all the firms surveyed, collective gross revenue dropped 40 percent between 2008 and 2011. In real numbers that’s a decline from $44 billion to $26 billion. Personnel has been cut by one third, with non-billable, non-technical staffers bearing the brunt of downsizing. On a brighter note, the number of LEED AP staff at firms doubled (plenty of time to study!). Projects involving renovations, rehabilitations, and additions increased. And while everyone knows that work outside the U.S. has been keeping many firms afloat, the stats are eye-opening: two-thirds of international billings in the last three years were from projects in Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America.