Survey: For Health Care Construction, Look Westward (Mainly)

More than half of architecture and engineering firms see the west coast as the action market for health care construction in 2010, according to a new survey from ZweigWhite, a Wayland, Mass.-based business management firm for architects, engineers, and environmental consultants.

The majority of respondents to the health care survey said that the west coast is where the work is, with 28 percent saying the Southwest is the hottest geographic area, and 24 percent pointing to the Northwest. The Northeast and the Midwest, both at 16 percent, also fared well. Only 4 percent of respondents pointed to the international arena as where they see potential in 2010.

"Southern California is an active aging market," says Edward Caruana, president of c|a Architects from Long Beach, Calif. "We feel health facilities, whatever complexion they take on in the future, will be needed in this busy area."

Among other significant survey findings:

  • 37 percent of respondents are optimistic about health care being a hot market this year, but 40 percent are in the "wait and see mode," and 23 percent are not touching it.
  • While 44 percent of respondents say new hospital projects will lead health care in 2010, 32 percent say they will work mostly on renovations and upgrades because of a lack of funding for all-new facilities.
  • 67 percent of respondents pointed to lack of financing as the biggest hindrance to this market in 2010.

Results of the survey are being published in the new ZweigWhite quarterly report titled "Market Advisor." The report also is part of the March 20 edition of ZweigWhite's weekly management journal, The Zweig Letter. Additional "Market Advisor" reports to be published at the end of each quarter will focus on different market sectors, the company said.

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