Building Design + Construction

Fed by top-ranked architecture and engineering programs, the Central Coast is home to a thriving building industry, from architects and planners to engineers and general contractors for highly specialized projects.

This nucleus includes leading multidisciplinary firms with projects across the state and beyond. Several of the region’s construction and engineering firms are federal contractors brought in for large-scale projects across the country.

Others work on highly specialized projects at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and Vandenberg Space Force Base. Winery design and construction — both hospitality and production facilities — is another regional specialty.


Booming Development

  • The Central Coast is in something of a construction boom, with large-scale projects taking shape from the north to the south. New residential communities with several hundred homes are coming online across the region. Creative mixed-use developments are in various stages of planning, with some just being drafted while others are already breaking ground.

Reimagining Paradise

  • Shortly after the devastating wildfire that leveled the town of Paradise, Cal Poly architecture students embarked on an intensive, six-month project to envision how the town could rebuild — and build resilience to future threats. The final product included immersive virtual reality walk- throughs and scale models and was presented to the community as well as state leaders.




employment growth 2015-2020


average annual wages


regional companies


a row of houses in California

Active Industry Groups

The Home Builders Association of the Central Coast provides advocacy, networking, education and resources to builders throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. The SLO County Housing Coalition and Santa Barbara’s Coastal Housing Coalition bring nonprofit housing developers, home builders and advocates together to advocate for building more housing attainable at all income levels.

UC-Santa Barbara

Ranked among the top engineering schools in the world, UCSB offers degrees in materials and mechanical engineering. The materials graduate program has ranked #1 in the nation among public universities, with 11 affiliated research centers, including the Dow Materials Institute, the National Science Foundation-funded Materials Research Laboratory, and the Institute for Energy Efficiency.  

Cal Poly

One of the highest-ranked architectural and environmental design colleges, Cal Poly offers majors in architectural engineering, architecture, city and regional planning, landscape architecture and construction management. Students regularly take top honors in national competitions and partner with industry on real-world projects.

Community Colleges

Cuesta College, Santa Barbara City College and Allan Hancock College supply a pipeline of trained talent through programs in architectural technology/drafting, construction technology, electronics and electrical technology as well as engineering, with associate’s degree and certificate options.

Building Design + Construction Companies

Navigate the map below to explore the breadth of building design + construction companies within the region.