At several Baltimore area universities, construction managers learn to cut costs on the fly to cope with increasing construction costs.
Maryland's universities are limited to annual escalations of 10 percent this year, according to Ron Brown, associate director for architecture, engineering and construction at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. "One building now under construction at Coppin State University would have worked best as a four-story structure but was redesigned to be taller and thinner because that was cheaper. And many parts had to be rebid to deal with cost overruns." Architects also feel the pinch when they must go back to the drawing board, explains Glenn Birx of the architectural and planning firm Ayers/Saint/Gross. He says: "That causes us loss of money. It's not been good."