The “greening” of U.S. colleges and universities is presenting opportunities for engineering and construction firms. Increasing numbers of schools that for decades have depended on coal-fired plants for steam and electricity are working to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by shifting to natural gas and biomass, says Kim Teplitzky, coal campaign coordinator for the Sierra Student Coalition, an adjunct of the Sierra Club. About 60 colleges and universities currently burn coal, she said, but several already are planning to switch to other, cleaner fuels. For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May announced that it plans to
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.