BACK TO  
SCHOOL  
f you haven’t been doing a lot of school projects lately, 2016. Starts are projected to grow by 8 percent (to 315 mil-  
that could change soon. The educational sector, the lion square feet) next year.  
Educational building starts were on the uptick in  
crease in K-12 school construction.According to the Dodge 2014 before a pause in 2015. However, renewed growth  
Data & Analytics 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook report, is projected in 2016.This will carry into 2017 with a  
school construction will drive the institutional segment in square-footage increase of 9 percent (to 127 million) and  
I
largest nonresidential building segment, is seeing an in-  
2
017. Additionally, more growth is expected in the amuse- a 10-percent spike in dollar volume (to $53.1 billion).  
ment category—particularly convention centers, sports At Dodge’s Construction Outlook Conference in Octo-  
arenas and casinos—as well as transportation terminals. ber, chief economist Robert Murray said that enrollment  
According to Dodge,institutional building will advance 10 demographics are starting to drive the K-12 sector, as  
percent in 2017 (to $118.5 billion), resuming its expansion well as deteriorating conditions of existing schools due  
after a slowdown the previous two years.The sector saw dol- to a lack of investment in recent years.  
lar-volume increases of just 1 percent and 3 percent in 2015  
The higher-education segment is still important, though  
and 2016, respectively. In terms of square footage, starts starts have scaled back the past two years. Some positive  
declined 2 percent in 2015 and increased just 1 percent in indicators do exist, however. According to Murray, college  
Educational Buildings  
2013  
2014  
2015  
2016  
2017  
111 msf  
125 msf  
123 msf  
127 msf  
138 msf  
-0-  
+12%  
-1%  
$38.7 b  
$44.6 b  
$46.7 b  
$48.3 b  
$53.1 b  
+3%  
+15%  
+5%  
U
+3%  
+9%  
+4%  
+10%  
4X  
In 2015, square footage for K-12 school construction was four times the size of colleges/universities/community colleges.  
46  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | January 2017  
www.usglassmag.com  
EMdilluiocnsaotfioSqn.aFlt.Buildings—Segments  
Educational  
Building to Give  
Institutional  
Sector a Lift  
by Nick St. Denis  
In 2015, square footage for K-12 construction was 4 times  
the size of colleges/universities/community colleges.  
EBidlliuoncsaotfidoonllaarlsBuildings—Segments  
endowments investment returns are projected to tick back  
up in the coming years, and major universities are now  
re-visiting deferred capital spending plans.  
Healthcare  
Dodge projects healthcare facility starts will increase  
5
percent in 2017 (to 69 million in square feet and $25 bil-  
lion in dollar value) following a 4-percent decline in 2016.  
The healthcare facilities category continues to hover  
around 65 to 70 million square feet, so we’re not yet able to  
see renewed expansion in a sustained manner,”said Murray.  
He said debate over healthcare reform has created near-  
term uncertainty,and other factors that could be holding back  
gains are uncertainty over reduced Medicare reimbursements,  
Affordable Care Act implementation and more healthcare  
mergers. He added that a Supreme Court decision in favor of  
federal subsidies in states with exchanges set up by the federal  
government eased some, but not all, uncertainty.  
In 2015, dollars for K-12 school construction were 2.2 times  
the size of colleges/universities/community colleges.  
U.S. Institutional - Educational Buildings  
Top 10 States K-12 School Construction - 9 months year-  
to-date, 2016 vs 2015. Based on dollars.  
That aside, some healthcare building prospects look  
positive. Murray said the sector is still supported by a  
need to replace aging facilities, the growth of the elderly  
population and a move toward a “hub-and-spoke” sys-  
tem. Additionally, storefront clinics are growing, which  
could be a plus for renovation work.  
Other Segments  
Transportation terminals are expected to see a 5-percent  
decrease in starts in 2016 but a 25-percent increase in dollar  
value due to large renovation projects. In 2017, Dodge proj-  
ects starts will climb 12 percent (to 21.5 million square feet)  
and 10 percent in value (to $9.7 billion). This will be driven  
by major airport construction projects—a sector that uses  
large expanses of glass.  
The amusement category will see major increases in  
2
4
017, growing 13 percent in starts and dollar volume (to  
6.9 million square feet and $17 billion, respectively).  
Public building construction has been on the decline  
N i c k S t . D e n i s is the research  
editor for USGlass magazine. He can be  
reached at nstdenis@glass.com.  
for much of the last decade due to tight fiscal conditions,  
though Dodge projects 2016 will represent the bottom of  
the cycle and that 2017 will see a 6-percent increase in  
starts and a 9-percent jump in dollar value. n  
www.usglassmag.com  
January 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
47  

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