Crews recently topped out the $640-million Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The design-build project is being constructed on the site of the existing National Naval Medical Center as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 by a joint venture of Clark Construction Group, Bethesda, and Balfour Beatty Construction, Fairfax, Va. When completed, the building will feature a new 560,000-sq-ft ambulatory care clinic and a 165,000-sq-ft in-patient addition to the existing hospital. The team also is constructing an eight-story, 944-space patient parking garage, a 700-ft-long logistics tunnel and 450,000 sq ft of phased renovations
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.