Non-Residential Building Contracts Up 1000% Compared To April 2013

Chemical plant construction pushed contracts awarded last month close to $4 billion.

Non-residential construction has pushed the value of new building contracts awarded over the past twelve months to nearly $17 billion, the highest one-year total in Houston’s history.

McGraw Hill Construction reports non-residential building contracts awarded last month valued close to $4 billion, up 1000 percent compared to those awarded in April 2013.

Patrick Jankowski is vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership.

“That phenomena is being driven by all the construction that we’re seeing taking place in the chemical industry here on the Gulf Coast,” he said. “Whether it’s down in the Freeport area, whether it’s along the (Houston) Ship Channel, whether it’s in other parts of the region – just a phenomenal amount of chemical plant construction going on right now.”

But Jankowski says the boom in chemical plant construction is starving office and home construction of labor.

“In a typical office building, you get the job, you’re there for nine months to a year,” he said. “You get a job building a chemical plant, you’re going to be there three or four years. And so while the chemical construction is stealing from the office, the office is stealing from the residential, and the residential people don’t have any place to turn to find workers.”

Residential building contracts awarded in April were up just 15 percent compared to the same period last year.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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