The Holding Pattern in Healthcare Design and Construction

January 20, 2012
The Holding Pattern in Healthcare Design and Construction

With the recent report from the American Institute of Architects that there are now more than $1 billion worth of stalled projects in its database, it seems that the industry may have hit a whole new level of frustration. The AIA database now contains 36 projects worth a total of almost $1.2 billion, and 50 (both anonymous and public) investors looking for projects to finance, a fairly staggering number. Given that an earlier AIA study showed that nearly two-thirds of architects reported stalled projects, as well as the fact that interest rates are at an all-time low, it seems that something isn't adding up here.

Clearly, this isn't just a healthcare architecture and construction issue at this point, but surely our industry is affected by this greatly, as are any other number of verticals. And considering that the unemployment rate in construction is roughly twice the national average, it all adds up to 2012 being a pretty rough time to be in the business of building things. But where will it end?

Sadly, the industry's hands seem to be tied. With banks unwilling (or perhaps unable) to loan the level of money needed to launch major construction efforts, and the specter of healthcare reform looming over it all, the people who are charged with executing these projects are doing a lot of sitting on their hands these days--far more than was predicted, in fact.

So what's it really like out there, in the healthcare A/E and construction world? Is it really as bad as it all seems by the numbers? And what can be done by the firms to improve matters--or simply to keep busy? Share your thoughts and experiences below as to how this rough patch has affected you and your business.

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