McGraw-Hill Construction estimates that the value of new Georgia construction contracts tallied more than $867.6 million during February, a 19% gain compared to the same period of a year ago.

The nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure and energy contracts, recorded an estimated $163.2 million in new contracts during February, a 44% gain compared to a year ago. Residential contracts totaled $351.9 million during the month, a 34% improvement. Nonresidential recorded the highest total of the three categories for February. However, its $352.5 million total was flat compared to last February.

Through February, McGraw-Hill estimates Georgia’s new construction contracts at approximately $1.6 billion,  or 5% better than last year’s early pace.

On a year-to-date basis, the nonbuilding category is the most improved compared to a year ago. Its $340.1 million total is 38% higher than last year. Residential’s $629.7 million total is 25% better than a year ago. However, the nonresidential category, estimated at about $633.1 million, is 18% behind the 2011 pace.