Israeli architecture firms are following in the successful footsteps of their real estate counterparts, looking abroad to boost their growth. Research company Duns100 said Sunday that the 10 largest architecture companies in Israel increased their combined employee base by 13 percent over the last year. "Part of the growth is a result of the large companies expanding their operations abroad, mainly into Eastern Europe building business and residential centers there," Duns100 economists said. Duns100 counted 418 professionals currently employed at the 10 largest firms in Israel , compared to 371 a year ago. In total, 512 people are employed in the top 10, showing growth of 14% over the year. Yitzhak Lir, chairman of the Israel Architects Association noted that in some offices as much as 70% of their operations are for projects abroad. He added, however, that while the larger companies are prospering many smaller firms are struggling and closing down, forcing a number of architects to leave the industry. The annual grading of largest architecture firms by number of employees listed Moore, Yaski, Sivan as the biggest with 87 workers, followed by A.B. Technon Architects with 70 and Moshe Zur Architects with 40. Lir noted that the market has been characterized in the last few years by mergers and joint projects among the larger firms.