In a key sector that serves as an important barometer of economic health, overall construction activity strained to pick up in 2021 as stalled projects resumed, and growing optimism for the pandemic’s eventual end sent developers cautiously back to the drawing board. Shovel-ready work was frustrated, however, by a worsening construction worker shortage and severe supply chain disruptions — byproducts of both the pandemic and a fresh concern: rising inflation. The prospective gap between robust demand for construction services and the compromised supply of labor and materials was further widened with passage of the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that promises to heap even more on the construction industry’s plate in 2022 and beyond.
Signs that building could be poised for a liftoff (though perhaps contradicted by massing economic headwinds) may be evident in the demand for construction project design services. And in one key subset of that business — electrical design — it appears 2021 was a mildly surprising banner year.
Companies comprising EC&M’s 2022 Top 40 Electrical Design Firms (ranked by annual revenue reported from the previous year’s business on its annual survey completed this spring) logged combined 2021 electrical design-specific revenues of $3.167 billion (see Rankings Table on page 20). Adjusting significantly for the inclusion of a leading company that did not participate in the survey last year, revenues for this year’s Top 40 still topped last year’s total of $2.301 billion by 13%.