NBBJ's Jay Halleran, a partner and specialist in cost estimating at the Seattle firm, agrees that design work now has to include ways to adapt to rising materials costs.
"Budgets are being increased, and we are looking at different materials.There's a lot of 'value engineering' going on," he
What's more, China's demand for products surpasses any other country right now, and it is affecting the availability of materials in the United States, Halleran
"They're building 10 cities the size of Houston right now.That's taking up all the resources of the world.When you have something like that happen, and you look at the population of China, they can really affect the market," he
One of NBBJ's
big projects right now is a $170 million expansion at Harborview Medical Center
in Seattle.Contractors and architects have worked hard to get the best value within the budget, but Halleran
says there is not a lot of leeway in terms of shifting different materials.
"If you're doing smaller projects, you can use wood studs or concrete masonry units for walls.But in hospitals, it's a lot tougher.Even on big buildings, you have steel siding and you can change to aluminum, but the price of aluminum is [even] going up," Halleran