At a morning session at the ASHE PDC conference in Tampa, Florida, Jeffery L. Campbell, PhD, and students Brian Sorenson, and Kimberly Mendez--all of Brigham Young University--presented a session titledResearch on the Future of Health Care Construction: An FM Perspective. While their findings were certainly interesting, and bore out the trends that we've been seeing over the last few years in the healthcare design and construction industries, there were a handful of surprises to be found for sure.

First and foremost was their conclusion: their forecast calls for steady growth over the next five years. This was certainly welcome news for the audience, many of whom have been suffering through the largest decline in healthcare construction in 50 years. But since the industry hit bottom in 2008-2009, the team has measured growth. Multi-year projects have weathered the storm to a degree -- once money was committed to a project, it stayed with a project. These large-scale projects kept the industry afloat -- barely. Among all the findings, however, (which were based on interviews, literature reviews, and a survey of ASHE members), was the one constant: there is still a limited access to funding, and this is and will continue to be a bit of a challenge to put it mildly. I'm not sure "lack of funding" should be on line 4 of the list of major challenges behind air quality, noise and vibration, and infection control myself, but it was certainly a refreshing change from the doom-and-gloom forecasting of the last few years. Let's hope these predictions are spot-on.