Associated Builders and Contractors' Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 8.9 months in April from 8.7 in March, according to an ABC member survey conducted April 20 to May 3. The reading is 0.1 months higher than in April 2022.
After declining to a seven-month low in March, backlog rebounded in April due to strength in the infrastructure category. Regionally, backlog increased in the Northeast and West but fell in the South and middle states.
ABC’s Construction Confidence Index reading for sales and staffing moved higher in April, while the readings for profit margins inched lower. All three readings remain above the threshold of 50, indicating expectations of growth over the next six months.
“Based on ABC member sentiment, one would not be able to discern that interest rates are high, the nation’s banking sector is in tumult, politicians are arguing over the nation’s debt limit and recession fears remain pervasive,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Despite many headwinds and an active news cycle, contractors continue to express confidence in the near term.
“Still, there is some evidence of a shift,” said Basu. “With credit conditions tightening, expectations are that private construction is poised for weaker times ahead. Nonetheless, backlog expanded in April, as infrastructure contractors began to take on more public works projects. Moreover, despite rapidly rising compensation costs, more ABC contractors expect profit margins to expand as opposed to recede over the next six months, evidence of sufficiently strong demand for construction services to support pricing power.”
Market Data | May 2, 2023
Nonresidential construction spending up 0.7% in March 2023 versus previous month
National nonresidential construction spending increased by 0.7% in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data published today by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $997.1 billion for the month.
Hotel Facilities | May 2, 2023
U.S. hotel construction up 9% in the first quarter of 2023, led by Marriott and Hilton
In the latest United States Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), analysts report that construction pipeline projects in the U.S. continue to increase, standing at 5,545 projects/658,207 rooms at the close of Q1 2023. Up 9% by both projects and rooms year-over-year (YOY); project totals at Q1 ‘23 are just 338 projects, or 5.7%, behind the all-time high of 5,883 projects recorded in Q2 2008.
Multifamily Housing | May 1, 2023
A prefab multifamily housing project will deliver 200 new apartments near downtown Denver
In Denver, Mortenson, a Colorado-based builder, developer, and engineering services provider, along with joint venture partner Pinnacle Partners, has broken ground on Revival on Platte, a multifamily housing project. The 234,156-sf development will feature 200 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments on eight floors, with two levels of parking.
Mass Timber | May 1, 2023
SOM designs mass timber climate solutions center on Governors Island, anchored by Stony Brook University
Governors Island in New York Harbor will be home to a new climate-solutions center called The New York Climate Exchange. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), The Exchange will develop and deploy solutions to the global climate crisis while also acting as a regional hub for the green economy. New York’s Stony Brook University will serve as the center’s anchor institution.
Market Data | May 1, 2023
AEC firm proposal activity rebounds in the first quarter of 2023: PSMJ report
Proposal activity for architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) firms increased significantly in the 1st Quarter of 2023, according to PSMJ’s Quarterly Market Forecast (QMF) survey. The predictive measure of the industry’s health rebounded to a net plus/minus index (NPMI) of 32.8 in the first three months of the year.
Sustainability | May 1, 2023
Increased focus on sustainability is good for business and attracting employees
A recent study, 2023 State of Design & Make by software developer Autodesk, contains some interesting takeaways for the design and construction industry. Respondents to a survey of industry leaders from the architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, and entertainment spheres strongly support the idea that improving their organization’s sustainability practices is good for business.
Codes and Standards | May 1, 2023
Hurricane Ian aftermath expected to prompt building code reform in Florida
Hurricane Ian struck the Southwest Florida coastline last fall with winds exceeding 150 mph, flooding cities, and devastating structures across the state. A construction risk management expert believes the projected economic damage, as high as $75 billion, will prompt the state to beef up building codes and reform land use rules.
AEC Tech | May 1, 2023
Utilizing computer vision, AI technology for visual jobsite tasks
Burns & McDonnell breaks down three ways computer vision can effectively assist workers on the job site, from project progress to safety measures.
| Apr 28, 2023
$1 billion mixed-use multifamily development will add 1,200 units to South Florida market
A giant $1 billion residential project, The District in Davie, will bring 1.6 million sf of new Class A residential apartments to the hot South Florida market. Located near Ft. Lauderdale and greater Miami, the development will include 36,000 sf of restaurants and retail space. The development will also provide 1.1 million sf of access controlled onsite parking with 2,650 parking spaces.
Design Innovation Report | Apr 27, 2023
BD+C's 2023 Design Innovation Report
Building Design+Construction’s Design Innovation Report presents projects, spaces, and initiatives—and the AEC professionals behind them—that push the boundaries of building design. This year, we feature four novel projects and one building science innovation.