Every couple of months, when non-Iraqi representatives of the design team, mostly from the U.S., visit the site of the $100-million Al-Menaa Sports Complex in a suburb of Basra, they move in and out of the war-torn nation with as much secrecy as possible. All travel plans and meeting locations are kept confidential. They alert only one construction executive to the trip. While there, they have armed guards escorting them at all times. Instead of a construction fence, a precast-concrete security wall surrounds the site."We even have to be careful about how we send e-mails about travel to the site,"
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.