University saves money with lower construction costs

The University has saved an average of 10 to 20 percent on construction costs this year because of falling energy and material costs, as well as a quiet construction market.

In recent years, the cost of petroleum-based building materials – including energy, steel and cement – rose as the thriving construction market was busy with projects in the United States and overseas. But now that rising prices have halted in many areas, colleges looking to build are getting better deals.

Alicia O’Neil, managing director of GW’s Office of Real Estate, said exact savings on construction projects depend on the “size and type of the project and its stage of construction.”

Current University construction projects include Square 54, 2135 F Street and Pelham Hall.

Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said he could not estimate any net savings until projects were completed.

“Obviously we appreciate any cost savings we can get,” Katz said.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently called the falling construction prices “the silver lining” of the tough economic times.

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