Construction Cost

Lab Surfaces in Flux

Flexibility, Aesthetics, and Cost Trends Drive Countertop Choices

Published 6-21-2017

All lab work—experiments, equipment usage, write-ups—occurs on countertops, but these flat horizontal surfaces are rapidly changing. “Today, lab work surfaces need to be adaptable, flexible, ergonomic, mobile, reconfigurable, versatile, sustainable, design-oriented, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, and easy to install,” says Arnulf Penker, president of FunderMax, a designer and producer of wood-based materials and compact laminates in St. Veit an der Glan, Austria.

Sustained Economic Growth Continues to Increase Construction Costs and Labor Demand

Market Outlook 2017 Q1

Published 6-14-2017

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy rate in the first quarter of 2017, adding roughly 176,000 jobs per month. Capital construction prices continued their 2016 trend, increasing at an average of 6 percent, depending on location. Construction job growth was approximately 89,000 or 1.3 percent nationally. Energy and commodity prices continue to remain at levels not seen since the 1990s, due to abundant international and domestic supplies combined with a strong U.S. dollar.

Optimum Phasing Strategies for Campus Construction

Consider Impact on Students, Faculty, Fiscal Objectives, and Long-Term Vision

Published 6-14-2017

Renovating an existing science facility or constructing a new building at today’s busy colleges requires the right approach in order to minimize the impact on students and faculty, while also adhering to the institution’s financial goals and strategic plan. It is important to design the project in a manner that allows students to complete their courses, and for faculty to maintain their research and teaching schedules. This is achieved with one of three phasing strategies: using 100 percent temporary facilities, no temporary space, or a hybrid of both.

Getting the Most Valuable Design on a Biocontainment Project

Smart Value Engineering Strategies can Yield Opportunities for Savings and Design Efficiency on BSL-3 Projects

Published 2-22-2017

Value engineering (VE) can save money on a BSL-3 project without compromising facility operations, lifecycle costs, regulatory compliance, or biocontainment requirements; if managed correctly, VE is an opportunity to improve a project, not just a cost-cutting tactic.

Strong Economy and Robust Construction in 2016 Drive Increased Cost Escalation

Market Outlook 2016 Q4

Published 2-22-2017

Construction prices increased an average of 6 percent in 2016, as energy and commodity prices remained at levels not seen since the 1990s, due in large part to the strength of the U.S. dollar. Five consecutive years of above-average cost escalation has driven the construction cost trendline to 3.3 percent. Price increases are attributed to robust construction activity allowing contractors to increase their margins as demand grows. The construction sector is also reaching full employment levels, which is expected to drive wage increases in the near to mid-term.