The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s decision to site in Kansas the much-coveted National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, with an estimated $500-million construction cost, drew protests from students at nearby Kansas State University in Manhattan, but the project’s final design is set to begin this year. The facility, to be the center of U.S. infectious disease research, will replace an aging facility in New York. Six states competed for the megalab, which could generate 1,500 construction jobs. Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo., handled conceptual design as part of the Kansas bid. Photo: AP/Wideworld
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.