Progress on two major European skyscrapers may not represent the green shoots of economic recovery, but they help lighten the gloom. In London, pile work is due to start mid-month on the 310-m-tall "Shard," planned as Europe�s second-tallest building. And workers in Frankfurt are beginning to mobilize the planned Tower 185. Photo: Vivico Real Estate Workers begin mobilizing for Frankfurt Tower 185. Photo: London Bridge Quarter Ltd. If London's 310-m-tall "Shard" moves forward, it could Europe's second tallest building. With Middle Eastern backing, London Bridge Quarter Ltd., recently signed a construction contract with local Mace Ltd. for the estimated $1.5-billion
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.