What’s Going On Out There?

Multi-family and mixed use projects drive recovering construction market

blogheaderDriving much of the construction industry recovery is a particularly strong U.S. market for mixed-use communities and high-rise residential buildings, according to the American Panel Association (APA), which predicts a 40% rise in multi-family construction in April 2014, following a 32% gain in 2013. (Commercial building not associated with mixed-use development is recovering, but not as quickly.)

“The mixed-use trend is really strong in North America,” echoes Ed Moroz, sales manager at Savona Specialty Plywood in Kamloops, British Columbia.

By contrast, single-family starts grew a not-insignificant 16% in 2013, according to the APA. Increases in mixed-use development, high-rise construction and an estimated 1.1 million in 2014 U.S. housing starts together bode well for the concrete construction business. And, by extension, the overlay business (BBOE plywood still outpaces the cost of overlaid panels by 10 – 15%).

Traditionally, too, as building starts improve, they’re quickly followed by growth in infrastructure improvements. “We’re seeing a significant amount of product going to projects like bridges and overpasses to meet the increased traffic that follows residential growth,” says Moroz. “That’s going to be a strong market for quite a while.”