Contractor teams vying for the latest round of a long-term National Science Foundation contract—worth at least $2 billion to manage site logistics and science support for its huge polar research program in Antarctica—would like to hear from the agency soon about who the winner will be. But many of the contenders would just like to hear from the agency, period. Photo: National Science Foundation South Pole research facilities have grown since the 1960s, when site construction and logistics contractors were first hired. This photo shows the McMurdo station in Antarctica, but the research facility is on the polar plateau, where
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.