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Despite Uncertainty, Big Healthcare Projects Moving Forward to Keep Health Systems Competitive

  by Megan Headley | Mar 29, 2017



Uncertainty around the future of healthcare has not slowed the rapid pace of activity in the industry. By and large, the healthcare industry as a whole has been stable in recent years, while other areas—including Houston and its suburbs—have moved forward with expansion plans and transactions.

This was one of many key takeaways presented during the Texas Healthcare Real Estate 2017 event, which took place February 2017 in Houston. According to an article by Ralph Bivins, editor of Realty News Report, Houston has more than 5 million square feet of medical-related construction currently under construction.

Bivins cited Eric Johnson, national director of Transwestern’s healthcare advisory group, adding that the area’s hospitals are expanding into suburban markets to maintain market share.

Texas projects are distinct in many ways as high land costs in dense areas require larger buildings to make the projects viable. The result is that Houston dominates the list of the world’s tallest healthcare facilities. According to Doug King, principal of Stantec, the tallest healthcare building in the world is the Memorial Hermann tower in the Texas Medical Center, at 498 feet tall. But the tower isn’t alone on this list; other Houston medical buildings among the world’s top 11 tallest are the O’Quinn Medical Tower, the soon-to-open Texas Children’s Hospital and Methodist Outpatient Care Center.

Ray Pentecost, Chair of Health Facilities Design at the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, presented at the conference one reason that construction is rampant. As Pentecost explained, medical research is expanding as rapidly as technological advances. As soon as 2020, the only way for practitioners to be current on medical research will be through the widespread use of technological advances, including robotics. Healthcare facilities will need to meet these future needs.

For the full event review, visit