The month of February saw severe declines in the nonresidential and nonbuilding construction categories, leading to a 31% drop in the overall value of Georgia contracts signed in February for future construction, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction.

Nonresidential starts fell 56% during the month to tally $208.9 million. The value of new nonbuilding projects dropped 37% during the period to register $156.6 million. Meanwhile, residential starts improved by 27% for a monthly total of $291 million.

For the year-to-date, the value of Georgia’s new projects is 16% behind 2008. The nonbuilding category is 13% behind for the year, with almost $407.2 million in new starts. The nonresidential market is 35% below 2008’s pace, with a total of $592.5 million. Residential is the lone positive sector, with a total of $551.6 million, or 16% ahead of last year.