The 2007 Industry Outlook for Design and Construction Firms


Health care, higher education and water/wastewater will be among the hottest markets for design and construction firms in 2007, while the parks and recreation, government and financial markets are expected to struggle, according to the 2007 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms, a new report from Natick, Mass.-based A/E/C consultants ZweigWhite.

The architecture, engineering and construction business has outperformed the U.S. economy as a whole in recent years, and the majority of firm leaders surveyed in conjunction with the report remain optimistic about the industry's performance heading into 2007. The survey found that 55% of respondents expect the A/E/C industry will outperform the U.S. economy in 2007, while only 12% expect the industry to lag.

''Despite a slight eroding of confidence in the performance of the A/E/C business heading into 2007, resulting from increased materials costs and other obstacles, the majority of firm leaders (57%) still project their business will be 'outstanding' or 'excellent' next year,'' says Elaine Kornbau, managing editor of best practices publications and market intelligence reports at ZweigWhite. ''Although residential construction slipped in 2006 and is expected to continue its current downward trend through the middle of 2007, strong growth in the health care, higher education, and water/wastewater markets will continue to provide opportunities.''

Based on a market-by-market analysis, the 2007 AEC Industry Outlook identifies 10 hot markets to watch in 2007. The top five markets are:

Health Care. Increases in health insurance costs that are bad news for A/E/C firm leaders trying to control costs are good news for firms working in the health-care market. The increases in health-care expenditures will result in additional capital available for projects.

Higher Education. Higher education construction is at record levels, and colleges and universities are still upgrading and expanding residence halls and educational facilities to deal with increasing enrollments. Improvements to state budgets should improve public funding for capital projects, and a rebounding stock market will be good news for college endowments at private colleges and universities.

Water/Wastewater. Driven by sprawling populations, water scarcity, federal and state regulations, and aging infrastructure, the water and wastewater sector has been a strong sector in the environmental industry in recent years. The one potential obstacle to the market is a slowdown in residential development.

Highways and Bridges. The passage of SAFETEA-LU in August 2005 should continue to keep highway and bridge projects going strong. Owners are still working off pent-up demand in the market due to the nearly two years that passed before a long-term surface transportation bill could be agreed upon.

Power and Energy. The sharp increase in energy prices in 2005 and

2006 have provided energy companies with soaring revenue and profits to invest in capital in major infrastructure projects, making up for a few years of underinvestment. In addition, it has pushed public support and improved the financial viability of the development of alternative energy sources.

Copies of the report can be ordered at .

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me