The healthcare industry continues pivoting from fee-for-service to creating value for patients and stakeholders. Taking this model to construction is an essential next step.

New healthcare facilities are safer, more efficient, more welcoming, and more sustainable than ever. A new focus on resiliency is laser-focused on flexibility, adaptability, and potential for the future.

Cost

Construction costs in healthcare are expected to increase significantly in the next few years. This is due to an aging population and increased demand for healthcare services. However, it is possible to reduce the cost of healthcare construction by using modular components. This is an excellent alternative to traditional building methods and provides a cost-effective solution for healthcare projects. The newest trends in healthcare construction include multi-use facilities, patient comfort, and sustainability.

The healthcare industry is a unique sector with specific construction challenges. The demands of this sector are continuously evolving and require a strong understanding of the design process and building technology. This is why choosing a construction firm with experience in the healthcare industry is essential. The proper construction firm can save you time and money while providing quality healthcare construction services.

During the construction process, it is essential to ensure no disruption to operations at the hospital. Noise and dust from construction may cause anxiety for patients, which can impact their health. The construction team should monitor the air pressure and humidity during the project to prevent dust from escaping into patient areas. In addition, the construction company should use tools that produce less dust. The construction company should also consider the environmental impact of the waste generated during the project.

Time

Healthcare commercial construction is time-consuming, and projects must be completed on schedule. While it is common to see healthcare construction delays, several things can be done to prevent them. For example, a BIM system can help the project team stay organized and on schedule. In addition, it can also help avoid unnecessary costs by reducing the amount of waste that is created during the project.

It is essential to keep in mind that the timeline for completing a healthcare construction project can vary significantly depending on the size of the facility. More extensive facilities will take longer to construct than smaller ones, and this is because they have more rooms and equipment. In addition, a larger healthcare construction project will require more people to work on the project. This can add up to significant costs for the project, and the schedule must be kept on track.

Healthcare construction is now more about retooling spaces to focus on core care elements than simply building new structures. Every design element should be deliberate and thought out, supporting treatment functions, care efficiencies, and positive experiences for patients and staff. A/E/C firms must collaborate closely with all stakeholders to meet these goals throughout the planning, design, and construction process.

Safety

Healthcare construction is an incredibly delicate process. While expansion and renovations are inevitable at hospitals, these projects must be carefully coordinated to minimize disruptions to patients, staff, and visitors. Hospitals are already full of people with weakened immune systems vulnerable to airborne dust, noise, and vibrations. When added to the construction process, these factors can be a recipe for disaster.

During commercial healthcare construction, a thorough medical facility inspection must determine the location of electrical utilities, plumbing, and other essential details. This inspection can help prevent costly delays, ensuring the project stays on schedule and avoids significant disruptions to the facility’s operations.

In addition, a Healthcare Architect should understand the unique needs of medical professionals and their patients. This means having a firm understanding of medical regulations such as Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) and American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) training. It also means having a working knowledge of worksite risks and best practices specific to healthcare facilities.

Another critical factor is the water supply. Turning off the water supply during a construction project will be necessary. This can be disruptive to patients and must be handled carefully, as hospitals have a strict protocol for maintaining water access. Constant communication with the hospital leadership and a solid commitment to dust containment can ensure that the water supply is maintained during construction.

Sustainability

The demand for healthcare facilities has skyrocketed in the wake of the global pandemic, but it’s important to remember that this expansion must be sustainable. Achieving sustainability requires a comprehensive approach considering each decision’s physical and environmental impact. Fortunately, many tools can help the construction industry meet these goals, including BIM.

For example, healthcare construction firms can minimize their energy use by incorporating energy-efficient HVAC systems, LED lights, and other lighting and utilizing recycled materials for interior and exterior design. Similarly, water consumption can be reduced by using low-flow faucets and toilets, creating a rainwater collection system, and integrating permeable paving. Additionally, using green roofs can reduce the need for a large number of paved surfaces while also providing a habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Finally, a hospital’s location is critical to social and environmental sustainability. A site near transportation lines allows staff and patients to reach the facility efficiently and minimizes car needs, contributing to air pollution. Additionally, the facility’s proximity to public transportation and schools allows it to serve its surrounding community better.

The heightened awareness of sustainability, stringent environmental protection laws, and other realities are changing how hospitals operate. These changes can result in lower operating costs, a healthier and more productive staff, and improved patient outcomes. All parties involved in acquiring, constructing, or renovating a healthcare property must know how these opportunities can be implemented.

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