- The Engineering News-Record released its 2016 Top 400 Contractors rankings Thursday, and global construction and engineering firm Bechtel once again topped the list.
- Fluor Corp., The Turner Corp., CB&I, Kiewit Corp., AECOM, Skanska USA, PCL Construction Enterprises, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Tutor Perini Corp. rounded out the Top 10.
- The total revenue of the Top 400 contractors reached $344.14 billion — a 3.7% increase from last year and a record-breaking high for the annual roundup, according to the ENR.
This is Bechtel's 18th consecutive turn at leading ENR's top 400, and the company also came in first on the publication's rankings of petroleum, transportation and industrial contractors, as well as those working in foreign countries.
According to the ENR, the Top 400's 2015 revenue from U.S. projects increased 9.5% to $294.35 billion, while revenues earned abroad plummeted 21.1% to $49.79 billion, with the global decline in mining and energy projects putting a dent in those numbers. However, Brendan Bechtel, president and COO of Bechtel, told the ENR that there are still plenty of international opportunities for construction companies that are "smart and disciplined." The ENR also reported that one effect of the international downturn is that foreign contractors are trying to shore up their pipelines by competing in the U.S. market.
Bechtel also came in at No. 7 on Fortune's 25 Most Important Private Companies 2016 list this week. Fortune editor-at-large Shawn Tully said that Bechtel, with 109 years of "epic" projects like the Hoover Dam, has "arguably changed the face of the physical world more than any other company, anywhere."
Among the other issues the Top 400 firms face are resistance by local communities to continued vertical development in cities where land is scarce; the importance of diversification; responding to longer-living baby boomers with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities; strategizing around the millennial shift to scaled-down living, as well as that demographic's desire to walk and bike in urban environments; tighter lending practices for hotels, retail and multifamily; how to capitalize on the oil and gas sectors' fluctuations; increased competition from other contractors; and how to increase productivity and solid programs of employee training and development.