Rock Products

OCT 2014

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • OCTOBER 2014 47 of the Nordstrom Tower in New York. The institutional building group in August climbed 12 percent. Health‐ care facilities surged 76 percent after a weak July, lifted by the start of two large projects in New York – an $800 million clinical medical facility and an $800 million ambulatory care center. While the healthcare facilities cate‐ gory has been generally lackluster for much of 2014, up only 2 percent year‐ to‐date, there have been a few months like August that featured the start of noteworthy healthcare construction projects. Educational buildings, the other major institutional category, re‐ ceded 9 percent in August after July's 11 percent gain. Large educational building projects that reached groundbreaking in Au‐ gust included a $120 million research lab at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and an $84 mil‐ lion law school at Arizona State Uni‐ versity in Phoenix. The smaller institutional categories re‐ vealed a mixed pattern in August. Gains were reported for public buildings and churches, up 27 percent and 17 percent respectively, as each showed improve‐ ment from weak activity in July. De‐ clines were reported in August for amusement‐related work and trans‐ portation terminals, down 10 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Nonbuilding Construction Nonbuilding construction at $120.1 bil‐ lion (annual rate), dropped 12 percent in August. The public works group as a whole was down 6 percent, due prima‐ rily to a 30 percent slide for the "mis‐ cellaneous public works" category. In July, the miscellaneous public works category included $1.2 billion for work on Phase 2 of the Dulles Cor‐ ridor MetroRail project in northern Virginia. By contrast, the largest mis‐ cellaneous public works project en‐ tered as an August start was a $267 million runway reconstruction at JFK International Airport in New York. Also losing momentum in August were river/harbor development, down 1 percent; and sewer construc‐ tion, down 7 percent. On the plus side, the water supply category grew 7 per‐ cent in August, and gains were re‐ ported for both highways, up 7 percent; and bridges, up 9 percent. Electric utility construction in August decreased 33 percent, resuming the downward trend that's been present for the past year‐and‐a‐half. August did include the start of a $775 million natural gas‐fired power plant in Mary‐ land, a $260 million hydroelectric power plant in Iowa, and a $222 mil‐ lion wind farm in North Dakota, but these were not enough to avert the month's downturn for electric utility starts. Residential Building Residential building in August grew 2 percent to $235.6 billion (annual rate). Single‐family housing in August slipped 1 percent, staying basically flat with the level that was reached towards the end of 2013. In August, reduced single‐fam‐ ily construction was reported in the West, down 3 percent; and the South Central, down 2 percent; while slight 1 percent gains were reported in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the South Atlantic regions. Multifamily housing provided the up‐ ward push, increasing 10 percent. The largest multifamily projects that were entered as August starts were the $718 million multifamily portion of the Nord‐ strom Tower in New York, a $420 mil‐ lion apartment building in New York, a $198 million condominium building in San Francisco, a $169 million multifam‐ ily building in Boston, and a $150 mil‐ lion multifamily project in Dallas involving the redevelopment of an office building into residential apartments. E Year-to-Date Through the first eight months of 2014, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $361.4 billion, up 4 percent from the same period a year ago. The 4 percent increase for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the Jan- uary-August period of 2014 was due to a mixed pattern by major construction sector. • Nonresidential building year-to-date ad- vanced 13 percent, with this perform- ance by segment – commercial building, up 7 percent; manufacturing building, up 132 percent; and institutional building, up 1 percent. • Residential building year-to-date in- creased 5 percent, with single family housing up only 1 percent while multi- family housing jumped 19 percent. • Nonbuilding construction year-to-date dropped 9 percent, with public works down 11 percent and electric utilities down 2 percent. By geography, total construction starts in the first eight months of 2014 showed gains in three regions – the South Central, up 15 per- cent; the Northeast, up 5 percent; and the West, up 1 percent. Total construction starts in the South Atlantic held even with the same period a year ago, while the Midwest re- ported a 1 percent decline. On a year-to-date basis, highways and bridges together were down 15 percent from last year. Through the first eight months of 2014, the metropolitan area with the highest dollar amount of multifamily starts was New York, up 60 percent from the previous year. Rounding out the top five metropolitan areas for multifamily construction starts (with the percent change from a year ago) were the following – Washington, D.C., up 47 percent; Los Angeles, up 55 percent; Miami, up 25 percent; and San Francisco, up 47 percent.

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