Rock Products

JAN 2013

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cent in November. The institutional sector, which had been trending downward throughout much of 2012, strengthened in November. The educational building category advanced 16 percent, helped by such projects as a $180 million medical research facility in Cincinnati, an $88 million building renovation at the University of Chicago in Chicago, and an $87 million high school in Franklin, Mass. Healthcare facilities in November climbed 13 percent, re‐ flecting the lift coming from the $651 million Veterans Ad‐ ministration Medical Center in New Orleans and a $145 million hospital in Rochester, N.Y. Other gains in November were reported for amusement‐related projects, up 19 per‐ cent; and transportation terminal work, up 16 percent. De‐ clines in November were reported for public buildings (courthouses, detention facilities, and military projects), down 48 percent; and churches, down 3 percent. The commercial categories generally lost momentum in November, even with the start of several noteworthy projects. Office construction retreated 5 percent, al‐ though November did include groundbreaking for a $125 million office building in Boston and a $68 million data center for Apple in Prineville, Ore. Store construction in November retreated 7 percent, even with the start of an $85 million outlet mall in Chesterfield, Mo., while warehouse construction dropped 15 percent. Hotel construction in November was down 19 percent, yet the month did include the start of a $183 million hotel project at Denver Interna‐ tional Airport. The manufacturing plant category in No‐ vember jumped 153 percent from an exceptionally weak October, although November's pace was still 42 percent below the average reported for this category during the first nine months of 2012. For the January‐November period of 2012, nonresiden‐ tial building was down 13 percent relative to the same period a year ago. The institutional sector fell 14 per‐ cent, as weaker activity was reported for its two largest categories – educational buildings, down 15 percent; and healthcare facilities, down 12 percent. Other institutional declines on a year‐to‐date basis were the following – public buildings, down 10 percent; churches, down 23 percent; and amusement‐related projects, down 24 percent. The manufacturing plant cat‐ egory year‐to‐date plummeted 45 percent, reflecting the comparison to 2011 which included a $3.0 billion coal‐ to‐gasoline plant and two large semiconductor plants. The commercial sector year‐to‐date managed to increase 2 percent, lifted by increases for stores, up 8 percent; warehouses, up 9 percent; and hotels, up 20 percent. Of‐ fice construction year‐to‐date was down 14 percent, due in part to the comparison to 2011, which included the start of a $1.1 billion government data center in Utah. While the dollar amount for nonresidential building was down 13 percent for the first eleven months of 2012, square footage for nonresidential building was up 2 per‐ cent during this time. Residential Building Residential building in November grew 3 percent to $183.9 billion (annual rate). Single family housing held steady, maintaining the improved activity reached in Oc‐ tober, while multifamily housing climbed 17 percent. The multifamily increase in November was supported by the start of four condominium/apartment projects val‐ ued each at $100 million or more, located in Miami ($131 million), Boston ($116 million), Chicago ($107 million), and New York ($100 million). During the first 11 months of 2012, residential building advanced 28 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Single family housing climbed 29 percent, as the result of this year‐to‐date performance by geography – the West, up 41 percent; the Midwest, up 30 percent; the South Atlantic, up 27 percent; the South Central, up 23 percent; and the Northeast, up 14 percent. Multifamily housing rose a similar 27 percent, as the re‐ sult of this year‐to‐date performance by geography – the West, up 40 percent; the South Atlantic, up 31 percent; the South Central, up 26 percent; the Northeast, up 25 percent; and the Midwest, up 12 percent. The top five metropolitan areas in terms of the dollar amount of multifamily starts were – New York, up 33 per‐ cent; Washington, D.C., up 6 percent; Miami, up 144 per‐ cent; Los Angeles, up 29 percent; and Boston, up 21 percent. The large increase for multifamily housing in the West was helped by the 29 percent gain for Los Angeles, as well as growth in such metropolitan areas as Seattle, up 51 percent; San Francisco, up 23 percent; Denver, up 114 percent; and Portland, Ore., up 79 percent. The 3 percent pickup for total construction starts at the national level during the first 11 months of 2012 was the result of a mixed performance at the five region level. Leading the way was the South Atlantic, up 20 percent, with much of the upward push coming from the start of two massive nuclear power projects in Georgia and South Carolina. If these two projects are excluded, then total construc‐ tion in the South Atlantic would be down 1 percent. Year‐to‐date gains for total construction were also re‐ ported for the South Central and the Midwest, each up 7 percent. Year‐to‐date declines for total construction were reported for the Northeast, down 5 percent; and the West, down 10 percent. E ROCKproducts • JANUARY 2013 37

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