CONSTRUCTION Accounting Article -
3 Hot Construction Trends to Keep an Eye On

Target Audience: Housing Industry, Baby Boomers, Developers, Construction Companies, Builders, Accounting Consulting Interest

Construction is an ever-changing industry. The trends change often, and contractors who want to succeed need to stay on top (or, better yet, ahead) of them. Here are three hot construction trends you should keep an eye on.

1. Housing the boomers

As the first wave of baby boomers hits 60, the real estate industry stands ready to cash in by building a multitude of “active-adult communities.”

These developments, geared toward older adults, typically feature large residences with premium features such as stainless steel appliances, high ceilings and granite countertops. Also, as the name implies, many active-adult communities offer a wide variety of activities for residents — everything from Pilates and cooking classes to whitewater rafting and skydiving.

How popular are these developments? Of boomers ages 51 to 60 recently surveyed by the National Association of Realtors, 47% said they “definitely or likely would consider moving to an active-adult community.”

If your construction company’s services are suited to one of these projects, start doing your market research now. That blockbuster job could be right around the corner — literally.

2. Going green

The environment matters. Almost half (48%) of owners of public property (such as state agencies or commissions) in the United States have implemented construction projects with energy-efficient designs in the past year, according to a new study by construction consultants PinnacleOne. And of those owners:

  • 34% have gone green exclusively in new facilities,
  • 24% have used green designs to renovate existing facilities, and
  • 42% have implemented energy-saving designs in both new and existing facilities.

One interesting note: Owners in the education sector were more than twice as likely to go with green designs as those in other industries.

Green building has also gained ground among private owners. More than a half billion square feet of U.S. commercial space has been certified as “green” by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

So no matter what types of projects you typically take on, expect environmentally sound building to be an increasingly important skill set.

3. Sticking with residential

More than two-thirds of builders (contractors who work on above-ground projects) and one-third of nonbuilders (contractors who use equipment for underground construction or site development) said that home and apartment construction will be their best opportunity this year, according to the 2007 Construction Industry Forecast conducted by international project financiers CIT.

In fact, according to the CIT forecast, the number of builders favoring residential construction over any other opportunity has grown from 53% to 68% in six years. Then again, for the first time since 2002, 20% or more of both builders and nonbuilders see commercial construction as their best bet for 2007 — a positive indicator for this lagging sector.

Thus, overall, sticking to the residential sector will likely remain a trend among contractors nationwide. This doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t also keep an eye on other areas.

Staying ahead of the curve

Your construction company’s best opportunities will depend, of course, on a variety of local factors as well as national ones. In any case, by staying ahead of the curve in all respects, you can help ensure you’ll stay ahead of your competition.

Find out how our expertise in construction accounting can add value to your business. Email us or call us at 1 (888) 875-9770.

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