R.S. Means Co. Inc., a division of Cahners Business Information, has released its 2002 Means Report , which tracks key labor and materials cost trends in the design and construction industry. The report was released at the CMD North American Construction Forecast Conference, which was held Oct. 16 in Washington, D.C. Below are some highlights from the report:
Division 2 -- Site Work
Pipe prices, such as steel and ductile iron are stable with only slight increases anticipated for 2002. Concrete pipe prices are also stable. Means research indicates hefty increases in the cost of aggregate primarily due to increased cost of trucking, which is a direct result of higher than expected fuel prices.
Division 3 -- Concrete
For 2002, there are no perceptible price changes for precast slabs or Portland cement anticipated. Ready-mix concrete is experiencing a $6 per cubic yard jump in price. Precast double tee floor members (standard weight, 18 inches deep by 8 feet wide, 30 foot span) are increasing 4.5 percent for 2002 after remaining stable during the previous three years.
Division 5 -- Metals
The U.S. national average material price for fabricated steel products delivered to a job site has remained the same during the last 12-month period at $1,225 per ton for a 100-ton project. Several underlying factors, including the pricing pressure of imported steel on mini-mills, global economic conditions and excess inventories, contribute to the flat environment. Demand for fabricated structural steel is anticipated to soften 7 to 10 percent during 2002. However, even with the anticipated decline in demand, 2002 will still be one of the top three or four years on record for nonresidential construction, keeping consumption at relatively high levels.
Division 9 -- Finishes
Light-gauge metal studs and track showed a downward trend with prices dropping up to 10 percent per thousand linear feet from some suppliers. Petroleum-based products, as well as carpeting and vinyl flooring, will stay at 2001 levels. Gypsum wallboard prices decreased 2.3 percent from 2000 to 2001, mainly due to new plants being brought on line.
Division 15 -- Mechanical
Copper products have been trending upward, and no major price or supply problems are anticipated in 2002. Plastics used in pipe and fittings have been remarkably stable considering major fluctuations in the price of petroleum. Sheet steel used for HVAC ductwork has been subject to a slightly downward movement over the past year. HVAC equipment prices have increased upwards of 6 percent.
Division 16 -- Electrical
In 2002, world consumption of copper building wire is forecasted to grow 3.5 to 4 percent. Construction demand for copper wire will not wind down for many years. Some other markets, including the telecommunications and automotive industries, are declining in copper usage due to global economic weakness. Thus, despite increasing demand in the building market, the cost of copper building wire will be down 8 to 10 percent.
For more information on the 2002 Means Report , call R.S. Means Consulting Services at 781-422-5105, or visit www.rsmeans.com .