Design Collaborative’s Chief Cost Estimator, Thad Berkes, brings the latest updates on labor, material costs, supply chain, and more this quarter. Read on to learn about these current industry updates, including how the Canadian wildfires are having an affect and what you can do to prepare for those changes.




Labor is the greatest challenge that contributes to construction inflation costs in today’s market, and is not projected to decline anytime soon. The balance of construction labor supply and demand has never been tighter than this past year.

Rising demand coupled with a post-pandemic plateau in supply continues to send wages higher.

Labor Shortage Construction Workers
Labor Shortage Construction Workers
Material Costs Wood Canadian Wildfire


Material costs are beginning to level off from post-pandemic pricing, including steel, wood, and concrete.

We are currently assessing wildfires in Canada that most likely will have a cost impact on future wood prices.

80% of United Stated softwoods are imported from Canada.

Prepare for a cost impact within the next fiscal year on wood commodities, and plan your materials strategically.

Material Costs Wood Canadian Wildfire


We seem to be out of the worst on supply chain issues. There are specific items that remain longer than usual lead times, but for the most part materials have reached expected deliverable times.

Graph Sources: Construct Connect, Gordian

Supply Chain
Supply Chain
Escalation Construction Worker


The year 2023 is tracking a 5% escalation factor as of mid-year. Several cost indexes project an even lower escalation for the 4th quarter of 2023 into 2024. Escalated costs are beginning to decline.

2022 presented an 8%-9% escalation for comparison.

Escalation Construction Worker


AIA, along with several other cost indexes, are predicting a slowdown for the last quarter of 2023, moving into 2024.

Chart Source: American Institute of Architects (AIA)

As we keep a close eye on the changing world around us and how it is affecting supply, materials, labor, and more, we will continue to keep our clients, consultants, and internal staff up-to-date. This helps us design efficient, cost-effective projects that fit your goals and improve people’s worlds.

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