Education, health care drive Dodge index upward

By |  October 10, 2023
Health care construction starts should be healthy over the next two years, with Dodge Construction Network forecasting 10 percent growth in 2023 and 11 percent growth in 2024. Photo: Thomas Bullock/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Gains in institutional planning, specifically in education and healthcare, helped bolster the Dodge Momentum Index in September. Photo: Thomas Bullock/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI), issued by Dodge Construction Network, improved 3 percent in September to 182.5 – up from a revised August reading of 178.

The DMI is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

Over the month, the commercial component of the DMI fell 1 percent while the institutional component jumped upward 9 percent.

“Solid demand for data centers, life science labs and hospitals supported the uptick in nonresidential planning activity last month,” says Sarah Martin, associate director of forecasting at Dodge Construction Network. “While month-to-month trends can be volatile, year-to-date trends show an overall decrease in commercial planning, offset by more institutional projects entering the queue. If financial conditions improve in early 2024, steady planning activity should follow.”

Weaker office planning drove down the commercial segment of the DMI, according to Dodge, while an acceleration in the institutional segment was supported by stronger education – notably life science buildings – and health care planning activity.

Year over year, the DMI is 5 percent lower than it was in September 2022. The commercial segment is 12 percent below year-ago levels, while the institutional segment is up 12 percent over the same period.

Specific projects

A total of 20 projects valued at $100 million or more entered planning in September.

The largest commercial projects to enter planning include the $400 million Platform 16 office development in San Jose, California, and the $230 million Waterford Millstone Data Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

The largest institutional projects to enter planning include the $927 million UC San Diego Research Park in San Diego and Phases 3 and 4 of the Kilroy Oyster Point Life Sciences Complex in San Francisco, valued at a total of $634 million.

Related: Manufacturing propels construction starts forward

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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