Report offers construction insight

April 2011 Vol. 66 No. 4

FMI, the largest provider of management consulting and investment banking to the engineering and construction industry, announces the release of its 2011 U.S. Markets Construction Overview, offering insight into some of the engineering and construction industry’s most complex business challenges.

Among the most interesting views that our readers at Underground Construction will find informative are the trends in sewer, water and power supplies.

Sewer and waste disposal construction will remain at a historically high level, according to the report. The market has more than doubled in size over the last decade from $10.1 billion in 1999 to $26.9 billion. Slow, steady growth will push the market to reach $33.7 billion in 2015. Continued growth will spur on the necessity, as old systems fail at higher rates and the public consciousness for a greener, cleaner environment grows with the economy. Trends in sewer and wastewater include the need for replacement and upgrades of 16,000 wastewater systems nationwide that discharge more than 850 billion gallons of untreated sewage into surface waters each year.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave drinking water and wastewater “D” grades it its 2009 American Infrastructure Report Card. The March 2010 U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council report forecasts that future spending for public water and wastewater systems will range between $2.5 and $4.8 trillion over the next 20-year period, 2009-2028.

Also reported is that water supply construction will see slow and steady growth to $21.8 billion in 2015. Clean drinking water loss of seven billion gallons is attributed to leaking pipes each day, owing to an annual investment shortfall of $11 billion (EPA) to replace old systems. Design-build and construction management at-risk project delivery is continuing to grow and now represents about 20 percent of all U.S. water and wastewater projects.

In regards to power construction, the past four years has seen phenomenal growth according to FMI’s Construction Overview. It has grown from $35.5 billion in 2005 to $88.7 billion in 2009. It declined slightly in 2010 and is expected to begin recovering in 2011, reaching $127.5 billion in 2014. Specifically, experts believe wind power generation will generate 20 percent of America’s electricity needs by 2030.