An inadvertent meeting of the minds during planning for a 484,000-sq-ft hospital in Dayton, Ohio, turned into an effort that has propelled multitrade prefabrication of hospital components to a new level. In the most ambitious U.S. implementation of the strategy, the construction manager estimates that prefabbing the 178 identical patient rooms and 120 overhead corridor utility racks sliced more than two months from construction and 1% to 2% off the cost of the $152-million building, which is 90% complete. The first effort is seen as just a beginning. “I want to change the design of hospitals with this process,” says
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.