More than 35 years ago, the Beatles penned the lyrics, “It’s Getting Better All The Time,” and while that might not have been true in regards to construction in the recent past, it seems like indeed things are getting better in the southwestern construction market.

Sure, it depends where you are, what you are working on and what contracts a firm has garnered, but generally, things appear to be getting better. In the last go-around of ENR Southwest our Top Contractors list showed marked improvement in revenue: 30 of the 50 top firms showed increases.

The same is true for Top Specialty Contractors this go around as 12 of the 20 top firms had a better 2012 than 2011. The two finalists for the ENR Southwest Top Specialty Contractor of the Year — Suntec Concrete of Phoenix, Ariz., and Helix Electric of San Diego, Calif and Las Vegas, Nev., — had particularly impressive years in 2012.

Suntec, with 125 million in 2012 sales, saw a 67% increase in revenue — $50 million — from 2011.

Helix Electric also had an impressive 2012 with revenues of $94 million in a variety of sectors, including commercial and retail, correctional, education, government and military, healthcare and biotech, hospitality and entertainment, industrial, renewable energy, and others. A particular triumph in 2012 was Copper Mountain Solar 2 in Boulder, Nev., a $25 million project that is expanding on one of the largest solar power plants in the country. They are currently aiding in the construction of the 150 MW phase 2 of which 92 MW are operational.

While Helix Electric was impressive in 2012, after our judges reviewed the nominations — and with voting that nearly went down to the final vote — Suntec was selected the Top Specialty Contractor of the Year.

Suntec was the runner up last year to J.B. Henderson Construction Co. Both firms were integral parts of the Intel expansion of their Chandler campuses. But over the past year, Suntec has also worked on diverse projects, including structural high-rise student housing in Tucson and Phoenix as well as a number of industrial tilt-up buildings in Phoenix.

More will be available about Suntec Concrete in the September issue of ENR Southwest which will also include rankings of the 70 or so specialty contractors who participated in the survey as well as breakouts for region and specialty.

Until then, review last year’s rankings here and the feature on J.B. Henderson Contractors here.

Congratulations to Suntec Concrete and Helix Electric.