Medical facilities are a crucial component of city planning and infrastructure. However, medical building construction presents unique challenges when compared to other facets of construction. Before beginning construction on a medical building, you must face these challenges head-on through understanding the intricacies and nuances of medical buildings.
The medical industry is constantly growing to meet research, accessibility, and technological advances. For this reason, medical building construction is a booming business with fast-paced deadlines and unique regulations. In addition to the need for medical building construction projects to be completed on tight timelines, medical buildings are also uniquely designed to facilitate treatment, dictate the flow of traffic, and increase the accessibility of treatment for patients.
American healthcare costs have been rising for years, and there is no indication that the cost of medical care will drop off any time soon. Hospital in-patient treatment has fallen off in popularity among Americans coping with rising healthcare costs, while urgent care, outpatient facilities, and ambulatory care centers are seeing an increased need to accommodate more patients.
In order to accommodate the needs of the specific type of facility, developers, architects and builders have to get creative. A building of doctors’ offices will have much different needs than a residential nursing home or an urgent care center.
Because medical buildings are so specialized, medical buildings are typically only built by specialized medical construction companies. Medical construction companies are well-versed in the regulatory and technical requirements of medical buildings. Each state will differ slightly in its regulations, and your medical construction company will be aware of these nuances.
Compared to other industries, medical construction places a strong emphasis on resilient design. Because healthcare is expected to be readily available in inclement weather, hazardous conditions, and even natural disasters, medical construction must be resilient enough to withstand the elements and promise long-term function.
While all buildings are expected to be safe for their inhabitants, medical building construction has to take possible mobility concerns, patient transport needs, and other factors into consideration. Previously, medical buildings haven’t been accessible enough, which can lead to patients having difficulty navigating the building, design flaws, and other safety concerns.
Perhaps more than any other building except an airport, medical buildings maintain a constant flow of traffic. Think about all the waiting rooms you’ve been in your life. A chaotic waiting room sets the tone for your entire practice.
A skilled medical building contractor will be able to understand that medical buildings must be constructed with function and direction in mind. In general, medical buildings should be viewed as puzzle pieces that interlock and come together in a cohesive and easy-to-understand manner.
The medical construction industry has evolved to consider the constant growth strategies of the buildings they provide. For this reason, medical buildings must be built with flexibility, adaptability, and future construction in mind. Some of the ways the construction industry has implemented forward-thinking elements into the design of medical buildings include:
- Building unfinished space in strategic locations that will lend itself well to furniture expansion and floor plan design
- Creating rooms that easily accommodate transitions for medical surgery rooms into critical care rooms when necessary
- Producing design and architecture plans that allow for additional capacity