Rock Products

SEP 2018

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54 • ROCK products • September 2018 ECONOMICS York, such as a $125 million Hard Rock hotel and a $120 million Ritz Carlton. The institutional building side of nonresidential building increased 11 percent in June. Healthcare facilities had a strong month, jumping 103 per- cent compared to a lackluster May, led by the $250 million New Trinity Hospi - tal in Minot, N.D., and the $148 million Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey, Pa. Educational facilities strengthened 16 percent in June, featuring such univer- sity projects as a $230 million facility at the University of Washington in Seattle and a $225 million facility at the Uni- versity of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., plus the start of large high school projects in Somerville, Mass., ($202 million), Frisco, Texas ($200 million), Verona, Wis., ($183 million) and Madera, Calif. ($179 million). Of the smaller institutional categories, public buildings (courthouses and detention facilities) registered a 12 percent gain in June, but declines were reported for transportation terminals, down 16 percent; religious buildings, down 35 percent; and amusement-re- lated projects, down 37 percent (from a May that included groundbreaking for the $764 million expansion to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle). Despite its decline, the trans- portation terminal category did include the June start of the new $374 million North Concourse terminal at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. Residential building in June was $323.0 billion (annual rate), up 4 percent. Multifamily housing grew 9 percent in June, advancing for the second month in a row after weak activity in April. There were seven projects valued each at $100 million or more that were reported as construction starts in June, compared to six such projects in May. The large June projects included the $213 million Aston Martin multifamily tower in Miami, the $195 million mul- tifamily portion of the $260 million Essex Crossing mixed-use building in New York and the $186 million multifamily portion of a $215 million mixed-use tower in Boston. Nonbuilding construction in June dropped 28 percent to $171.0 billion (annual rate), sliding back after the 37 percent increase that was reported for May. The public works categories as a group dropped 34 percent in June after May's 44 percent surge. To a large extent, the recent up-and-down pattern shown by public works was related to the volatility exhibited by the miscellaneous public works category, which includes pipelines, mass transit and site work. The miscellaneous public works cat- egory plunged 67 percent in June following May's 161 percent increase. May included three substantial natu- ral gas pipelines as construction starts (the $2.1 billion Mountaineer Xpress Pipeline, the $1.9 billion Gulf Coast Express Pipeline, and the $600 million Gulf Xpress project) plus two large rail projects (the $1.4 billion Westside Purple Line Extension in Los Angeles and the $1.1 billion Green Line Exten- sion in Somerville, Mass.) By contrast, the two largest miscella- neous public works projects entered as June starts were a $576 million seg- ment of the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and a $280 million rail project at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. At the same time, both pipeline and rail-re- lated construction starts have stayed strong during the first half of 2018, with pipeline starts down only 15 percent from a robust first half of 2017 while rail-related starts were up 53 percent compared to last year. The environmental public works cat- egories in June weakened from their May amounts, with water supply construction, down 9 percent; river/ harbor development, down 15 per- cent; and sewer construction, down 58 percent. However, highway and bridge construction was the one category to show growth in June, climbing 25 per- cent with the help of such projects as the $312 million I-95 South highway widening in the Philadelphia area and the $270 million I-85 North highway widening in the Atlanta area. The electric utility/gas plant category in June improved 73 percent from a weak May, with the lift coming from five new wind farms located in Iowa ($375 million and $108 million), Kansas ($300 million), Michigan ($261 million), and Minnesota ($158 million). Year-to-Date Through the first six months of 2018, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $395.7 billion, up 1 percent from the same period a year ago. If the volatile electric utility/gas plant category is excluded, total construction starts during the first six months of 2018 would be up 3 percent relative to last year. The 1 percent increase for total construction starts on an unad- justed basis for the first six months of 2018 compared to last year was due to a mixed performance by major sector. • Nonresidential building year- to-date dropped 3 percent, due to this pattern by segment – commercial building, down 8 percent; institutional building, down 6 percent; and manufac- turing building, up 49 percent. • Residential building year-to-date rose 6 percent, with multifamily housing, up 8 percent; and single family housing, up 5 percent. • Nonbuilding construction year- to-date was essentially even with last year, with public works, up 9 percent; and electric utilities/gas plants, down 48 percent. • By region, the first half of 2018 showed this performance for single family housing compared to last year – the West, up 11 percent; the South Atlantic, up 5 percent; the South Central, up 4 percent; the Northeast, up 2 percent; and the Midwest, up 1 percent.

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