BuildingTeam Summit to Highlight Construction Market Improvements

By Alex Schultz, Editorial Intern August 12, 2005

Ten-years anniversaries are marked by aluminum and tin, but maybe steel and concrete are more appropriate for the 10thAnniversary of North American Construction Forecast. Renamed The BuildingTeam Summit, this year’s event includes a comprehensive forecast of construction activity in the U.S. and a program dealing with innovators in building design and construction, complete with input from the industry’s top professionals.

Facing a decline over the last few years in the institutional building and heavy construction markets, this year’s conference is considerably more optimistic, examining the reasoning behind the predicted increase in both markets and letting members of the A/E/C industry know what to expect.

James Haughey, Ph.D., director of economics with Reed Business Information, provided some insight on the forecast. “Reed Construction Data projects that construction spending for institutional buildings will increase 20% by the end of 2006,” he reported. “Similarly, spending on heavy construction projects will be 17% higher by the end of next year…due partly to additional capacity needs after several years of strong economic expansion and partly to the increased availability of public construction funds.”

These increases, he said, are bolstered by the approval of the six-year federal highway-funding plan. This plan, which was recently approved after a 22-month delay, will quickly inject several billion extra dollars into highway construction projects.

Keynote speakers at the Summit, to be held at Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington D.C., Oct. 27-28, include Thom Mayne, winner of the prestigious 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize; Lou Dobbs, anchor and managing editor of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight”; and Clayton Christensen, Ph.D., professor at Harvard Business School and the foremost expert on innovation and disruptive technology.

Haughey, along with Bret Wilkerson, CEO of Property Portfolio & Research, and James Cramer, principal and chairman of Greenway Group, Inc. and president of the Design Futures Council, will present this year’s comprehensive review and forecast for construction activity for all segments of the market.