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Planned Residential Construction Up 34 Per Cent in 2010

January 20, 2011

City issued permits for $2.73 billion of construction

Edmonton’s construction industry may be on the upswing. In 2010, the City of Edmonton issued building permits for almost $2.73 billion worth of construction projects – an increase of 11 per cent over 2009.

The increase was entirely due to residential construction projects, which were up 34 per cent to a total of $1.76 billion. Non-residential projects were down 15 per cent from 2009, totaling only $970 million. Most of the drop in non-residential construction was due to less spending on institutional construction projects.

“Even though the year ended on a bit of a slow note, 2010 was actually a very good year for Edmonton overall and we are seeing positive signs that construction is picking up again,” said Scott Mackie, Manager of the City’s Current Planning Branch.

The increase in total building permit value is even more noteworthy because other cities have not experienced the same trend – including Calgary which had a 20 per cent decrease in total permit value last year.

While total building permit value does not directly reflect how much was actually spent on construction projects, it is an indicator of how much construction spending is planned. Builders have one year after a building permit is issued to start construction before the permit expires.

“The only disappointment was the decline in non-residential construction. Hopefully we will see more industrial and commercial projects happening in 2011. These kinds of projects are important for our city’s economy,” added Mackie.

Anyone building a new structure or modifying an existing building within Edmonton must get a building permit from the City, with the exception of the University of Alberta. Due to this exemption, construction projects at the university are not captured in the City’s building permit values.


For more information:

Scott Mackie

Title Branch Manager, Current Planning Branch