Index up due to commercial, institutional building plans

By |  January 9, 2014

The Dodge Momentum Index measuring the first report for nonresidential building projects in planning increased by 1.2 percent in December compared with the previous month, according to McGraw Hill Construction. December’s gain brought the momentum index to 118.3, the highest it’s been since February 2009.

Over the course of 2013, the momentum index showed steady improvement, with December up 32 percent compared with the same month a year ago. Despite the strong percentage growth during 2013 however, it remains significantly below its December 2007 pre-recession peak of 191.3.

December’s increase was driven by both its commercial and institutional components, says McGraw Hill Construction.

On the commercial side, the 1.5 percent gain was largely the result of greater planning activity for office and hotel development. Larger office projects that entered the planning pipeline in December included the $350 million Moffat Place Office Campus in Sunnyvale, Calif., the $300 million Boston Garden Office Tower in Boston, Mass. and the $95 million expansion of a Microsoft data center in Quincy, Wash.

The 0.8% gain for the institutional component was primarily due to a pickup in plans for education-related buildings, the largest of which were a $120 million renovation/addition to the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor, Mich., a $100 million Nuclear Power Training Facility in Charleston, S.C. and a $90 million renovation to the University of Dearborn’s Engineering Laboratory in Dearborn, Mich.

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