- The Richmond, Virginia, region has more than $500 million of hospital projects under construction and more are at various stages in the development pipeline, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
- The VCU Health System has $534 million of projects underway — a 16-story, 603,000-square-foot outpatient building ($349 million); a 114-bed, 212,000-square-foot rehabilitation hospital ($95 million) and an eight-level, 154,000-square-foot Virginia Commonwealth University College of Health Professions building ($87 million). HCA Virginia and Bon Secours Virginia Health System also have construction, expansions, major and minor renovations of ambulatory, outpatient, specialty, emergency and medical office projects in design and development stages.
- Many of the projects are aimed at reaching patients who don’t currently live near a major hospital, and the pace is being driven, in large part, by the needs of aging residents and population growth in the area.
Just as with many other sectors, there are construction companies that specialize in healthcare projects, particularly big hospitals, and these contractors must be well-versed in what the Facilities Guidelines Institute has set out as design and construction best practices for medical projects. The state of Virginia is one of 39 U.S. states that have incorporated FGI guidelines into their healthcare construction regulations.
Adherence to these best practices is important not only for process reasons — cost control and scheduling — but for patient health as well. According to general contractor and construction manager Structure Tone, 5% to 7% of the 100,000 deaths from hospital-acquired infections each year are a result of something they were exposed to during the course of a construction project.
Like the specifications for many construction projects, the FGI guidelines put forth lots of specifics. These include directions on maintaining a one-way, dirty-to-clean workflow in sterile processing areas; dimensions for different types of rooms, like those for operating, critical care and imaging; accommodations for special needs patients; the placement and number of grab bars; and ventilation requirements. The most recent edition of the FGI guidelines was published in 2018, and the next one is due in 2022.
Contractors like Turner Construction, McCarthy Holdings, Brasfield & Gorrie, Skanska USA and DPR Construction are some of the foremost experts in the healthcare construction field, according to Building Design + Construction, and that expertise is reflected in the revenue they bring in for these types of projects.
Turner Construction is overseeing construction of a 10-story, $738 million addition at New York City Health and Hospitals/Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, New York City. In addition to the new building, Turner is also supervising construction of a flood wall that will help to increase the facility’s ability to withstand and recover from major storms and flood events.