Construction Cost Trends


Construction Cost Trends Computations Overview

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Construction Cost Trends (CCT) were developed to track construction relevant to the primary types of projects being constructed by the organization. All the various cost indexes consist of two elements:  contractor labor and equipment costs and contractor supplied materials and equipment.

When the indexes were originally developed, the substantial amount of construction work being performed by Reclamation provided a large data reference for the 35 construction categories. Actual field cost data were used to develop the costs' baselines and their respective incremental increases over time.

Since the early to mid-1980s, the number and magnitude of construction projects being performed by Reclamation has declined. There are fewer construction projects in general and no new large dam or hydroelectric projects. The number of data references from our own construction has therefore declined as well.

Despite this reduction in the construction program, the CCTs are still considered a valuable asset used by many within Reclamation, as well as numerous clients in other government entities and the private sector. In order to perpetuate the CCTs in as a meaningful and professional manner as possible, cost models consisting of appropriate labor, equipment, and materials types are now used as the principal costs reference in lieu of actual field data. Data for the models are primarily extracted from:
  • Producer Price Indexes [PPI], US Department of Labor, Bureau of LaborStatistics
  • Department of Agriculture, Land and Rental Prices
  • Engineering News-Record, weekly publication of BNP Media
Actual field data, when available, is used to confirm the reasonableness of the models. Engineering judgment may also be used to adjust the results.

Available Cost Trends (.pdf files):

2016 to 2019  
2012 to 2015 1996 to 1999 *
2008 to 2011 1992 to 1995
2004 to 2007 1988 to 1991
2000 to 2003 1984 to 1987
 
* Note:  Several indexes that were previously published from April 1997 through April 1999 were revised in July 1999.  These indexes reflect the refinement of computations that resulted in minor changes to some of the construction cost indexes.  It is believed that these adjusted numbers more closely represent actual conditions and trends for the above period.  The original published numbers, if needed, may be viewed and printed by clicking on:
Index numbers previously published for April 1997 - April 1999.
 

Next Update

It is anticipated that the July 2019 Construction Cost Trends will be posted by late August 2019.

 

Last Updated: 5/22/19