On the Mend

Health care construction starts to rise as hospitals upgrade facilities to satisfy increased demand and accommodate new ways of caring for patients

Aging baby boomers, over-the-hill hospitals, new ways of caring for patients, and the need to streamline operations are all helping sustain a boom in healthcare construction that peaked two years ago but is still going strong. In 2005, 107 million square feet of these facilities started construction—surpassing the 100 million-square-foot mark for the first time, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2007 Outlook for Healthcare Facilities, “Aging Population Helps Hospitals Grow,” by Timothy Boothroyd. Although there was a slight decline in 2006, down to 106 million square feet of construction starts—and construction may decline a bit more this year, to an estimated 103 million square feet—these remain unprecedented levels. And by the end of the decade, the report predicts, “construction will embark on another growth spurt as demand from the aging population becomes more acute.”

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