Almost 75 percent of construction industry executives saw an increase in their bidding prices due to the recent steel shortage and subsequent price increase, according to an October survey by industry consultant firm PinnacleOne.

The "PinnacleOne Pulse of U.S. Construction - 2004" survey examined opinions of owners, architects, engineers, contractors and developers, and several trends were uncovered.

Significantly noted was the lack of education on energy-efficient design and environmental standards among professionals. While 77 percent said they have initiated energy-efficient plans in new projects, 39 percent failed to use LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building standards. Also, nearly half (44 percent) were unaware of Department of Energy incentives and promotions from local utilities to assist in efficient design solutions.

Darr Hashempour, vice president of energy solutions at PinnacleOne, noted that only a 2 percent to 5 percent dedication of a project's budget to meeting LEED standards can generate annual operational savings from 30 percent to 50 percent, achieving a complete return on investment within three to five years.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • Dispute resolution: 34 percent use mediation over 14 percent arbitration and 12 percent litigation.

  • Budget and time: 62 percent say a majority of projects are completed on time with 61 percent coming in on budget.

  • Change orders: 72 percent surveyed have seen a growth in the number of change orders in the past two years, but growth of that number is less than 25 percent.