While it is uncertain exactly how the U.S. will address climate change, it is clear that any regulations aimed at reducing the nation’s carbon footprint will impact construction—for better and for worse. Potential winners are those companies that build powerplants, transmission lines and install energy-efficiency measures. Firms that are leaders in sustainable building and design are also well positioned to profit from carbon regulations. Potential losers, however, will not be as clear until legislation to regulate carbon is finalized. “There are ways that it can have benefits and drawbacks,” says Calli Schmidt, spokesperson for the National Association of Home Builders.
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.