Rise of residential construction will lift all boats

DC Building Group recently moved into a new, expanded hybrid open office space. The layout is beautiful and functional, and it came just in time.

As a general contractor, we have watched the residential construction industry become stronger, a sign that our commercial sector industry’s growth was coming. Progress in residential construction naturally precedes growth in commercial, and that’s what we’ve seen in the valley the past five years.

There has been a steady increase in both single- and multifamily residential construction. Single-family home construction has risen more than 50 percent and multifamily home construction has risen more than 100 percent over the past five years. This residential growth ultimately lifts other markets.

As commercial general contractors, we pay attention to these indicators, and as it happens, we’re seeing increases in our sector. In fact, commercial construction increased by almost 15 percent in 2014, according to a recent story published by AIA Architect. With that growth comes new projects and the need to hire employees, hence the reason for DC Building Group’s expansion (67 percent in terms of staffing, and more than 100 percent in financial growth).

Overall, the construction market is improving in almost all sectors. Over the past five years, construction in office building, single-family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, retail and warehouses has increased considerably — 82 percent in office, 154 percent in hotel construction, 47 percent in retail and 156 percent in warehouse construction. In fact, the sheer size of warehouses has risen from an average of 40,000 square feet per project in 2010 to an average of just over 120,000 square feet per project in 2014.

The only areas not seeing such strong increases in the commercial construction industry are religious, nonprofit and educational, but even educational buildings have grown 14 percent over the past two years. The Clark County School District bond rollover will only add to this metric.

Even with these slower-growth sectors, the overall industry is expanding, and there’s a clear correlation between the growth of the residential market and that of the nonresidential market.

The growth of nonresidential buildings is not sudden, as we saw in 2013, but is a slow build as it follows the trend of its predecessor. We are seeing the fruit of that residential growth provide more opportunities for commercial and nonresidential today and are doing our best effort to capitalize.

Let’s hope this tide keeps rising.

Charlie Stewart is director of preconstruction services at DC Building Group.

Tags: The Sunday