Welcome to our eighth Substack blog which focuses on building costs. History of the Engineering News Record (ENR) which dates back to 1874. The publication has its roots in two separate publications, Engineer & Surveyor and The Plumber and Sanitary Engineer. The first issue of Engineering News-Record was published on April 5, 1917. On January 1, 1987, the acronym ENR was adopted as the magazine’s title. The graphs that follow use data courtesy of ENR magazine, which is published 26 times a year. Historical data was taken from microfiche copies of the magazine obtained from the New York Public Library. ENR Magazine represents only a small portion of the products offered by Engineer News Record and we recommend that readers, especially those with an interest in engineering and construction, take the time to browse the ENR website for learn more about…
Concrete sand prices are up +3.1% since last month and +50.81% over the last twelve months, rising at a rapid pace to reach new highs, continuing to be plagued by global supply shortages, as did Masonry Sand (chart below). See Stanford geographer and environmental scientist Eric Lambin’s conversation on the sand shortage crisis below.
Although Masonry Sand did not rise at the same parabolic pace as Concrete Sand, it is nonetheless up +2.1% month over month and +27% since last November.
The 20-city ENR average price of MC800 reduced asphalt paving per ton hit a new high this summer, but the pace at which prices had been rising is slowing. Prices remain up by +3.7% over the last 12 months.
The ENR 20-City Average Price of Crushed Stone/Base hit a new high in November and is up +2.1% from last month and +22% since this time last year.
After reaching a record level, Portland cement prices fell slightly in October but are clinging to the rise (+0.7% MOM). Over the past twelve months, prices have increased by +14.40%.
With the rising prices of concrete sand, the price of ready mix concrete is increasing (but not at the same rapid rate as other aggregates are often in the mix). The average price of ready-mixed concrete in 20 cities fell slightly this month (-0.4%) but remains up +7.2% since last November.
The average ENR price of lightweight concrete blocks in 20 cities recorded a new high three months ago, an increase of +9.39% over the last twelve months.
The ENR average price of 8-inch PVC water pipes in 20 cities hit a new high this month and has increased by 29.89% since last November.
reinforced concrete pipe
The parabolic rise in 36-inch reinforced concrete pipes remains unchanged, +2.2% since last month and (pardon the adjective) a “huge” +41.6% over the last twelve months.
Ductile iron pipe
The ENR 20-City average price for 8-inch ductile iron pipe also recorded another high price this month. Over the last twelve months, it is up by +25.67%.
Copper water tubes
The rate of change in the ENR 20-City average price of 1 1/2” copper water tubes continues to decline and prices have fallen slightly this month, but are still up +18.32% since this time last year.
corrugated steel pipe
After a period of static prices, average 36-inch corrugated steel pipe prices across 20 cities hit a new high of $41.84 per foot this month and rose +5.28% over the past last twelve months.
Data is provided by Engineering News Record
The graphs are courtesy of Optuma whose mapping software allows anyone to view all the data. For a 30-day trial of Optuma mapping software, visit
The Market’s Compass will publish a selection of ENR construction data charts via The Market’s Compass Substack blog every two to three weeks when new data becomes available.