State and Local AEC Snapshots: Fairfax County, Va.

Published: February 04, 2015

Architecture Engineering and ConstructionEducation (Higher)Forecasts and Spending

The state and local architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market reached new heights in the public sector last year, with construction put in place (CPIP) reaching $274.4 billion, per the U.S. Census Bureau. CPIP refers to the measure of the value of the construction installed. Looking beyond CPIP to related architecture and engineering consulting, the number would be even greater.

Deltek will begin looking at the AEC market through the lens of specific entities in order to understand how certain markets have evolved and where they are heading. Fairfax County, Virginia, is the subject of our first profile.

Fairfax County’s overall expenditures have increased 3.5 percent over the past nine years, due in part to increasing population and government employment. Drilling even further into the county’s construction expenditures tells a similar story.

The chart below depicts the top categories within the county’s construction spending as well as annual spending since 2011. Elementary and secondary education has consistently been the greatest construction expenditure, from $163 million in 2011, to nearly $180 million in 2014. 

One explanation for the significant rise in construction expenditures since 2011 is increasing population – from approximately 970,000 in 2000, to an estimated 1.13 million in 2013. With population increases comes a greater need for schools and other infrastructure to accommodate more people. While other construction categories showed modest growth, such as water utilities and highways, it doesn’t compare to the growth within education. Fairfax County, with its close proximity to the federal government, will likely see continued population growth and construction needs in widespread markets, not just the education space.

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