“I think it's going to be fairly flat at best,” says Chip Cogswell, national healthcare director for Turner Construction Co. “From a sales perspective, 2012 was a very good year and exceeded our expectations.” But, he says, there are very few big projects or new hospitals being built on undeveloped sites.
Instead, there are “a lot, a lot, of renovations” and several expansion projects, he says. While Cogswell says Turner saw $2 billion in sales in 2012, most projects were in the $9 million-to-$12 million range.
People would prefer to build new, Cogswell says, but they're renovating what they have as they assess what facilities are needed in a value-based healthcare system rather than what was traditionally desired in the fee-for-service, volume-based world.
“The election is over, so I don't think there is as much uncertainty about what the rules are going to be,” Cogswell says. But the industry is in a state of flux and organizations in transition are finding themselves with “one foot on the dock and one foot on the boat.”
Joey Kragelund, healthcare principal in the Los Angeles office of HGA Architects and Engineers, says clients are taking a step back and rethinking what to do and re-evaluating their plans.
Some construction is being driven by new technology, he says, explaining that buildings designed as recently as the 1990s are not suited to house modern medical equipment.