Research Outline

Square Footage of New Construction Trends


To compile a list of the best reports and sources available concerning new construction square footage, with a focus on the following industries: commercial office real estate, healthcare/hospitals, transportation, leisure (hotels, casinos, stadiums, museums) and government (federal, state and local). Additionally, to determine the current square footage of construction within these industries, and how this spend is expected to trend moving forward.

Early Findings


List of Reports

This general overview of Commercial Construction Costs/Square Foot for 2018 discusses several important cost-impact factors relevant across multiple commercial construction industries.

This 2016 Hospital Construction Survey (HSC) from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association and Health Facilities Management (HFM) provides findings from over 200 hospitals across the U.S., including a robust discussion of trends driving construction and some info on current square footage.

This review of Construction Trends to Watch in 2019 includes a description of some of the top construction trends to expect in healthcare/hospitals, hotels and multi-family construction in coming years, as well as case studies of three of the most commonly viewed healthcare construction projects.

This article from Healthcare Design discusses how patient room size guidelines affect new construction square footage in the healthcare industry.

This 2018 MCD Industry Pulse survey highlights important building and design trends in healthcare, including statistics on healthcare building activity, project value and overall size.

This 2018 article from ProEst discusses current trends in Hospital Construction Costs, including several unique challenges facing the healthcare industry.

This 2015 Research & Forecast Report outlines how Healthcare Construction Trends Reflect Industry Shifts.

Current Square Footage

According to the 2016 survey cited above, the average cost of new hospital construction is roughly $400/square foot (not including equipment). However, this cost varies greatly by location/region; for example, the average cost in New York City is approximately $1,200/square foot.

Data from Medical Construction & Design magazine’s 2018 Industry Pulse survey reveals that overall square footage of construction projects grew for 54.5% of respondents in the healthcare sector. Only 9.5% of respondents reported a decrease in square footage, and 66% of respondents reported an increase in average project value.

The Facility Guideline Institute’s Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities (FGI) provides detailed recommendations for patient room size, stating that patient/family-centered rooms should provide 250 square feet of “clear floor area.”

According to Health Strategies and Solutions Inc., the average size of a patient room in the U.S. was 320 square feet in 2012, up from 240 square feet in 2002.

Trends Moving Forward

The 2016 HCS survey cited above also suggests that the healthcare industry is trending away from large-scale new construction, while many facilities are instead focusing on renovations or expansions.

The Industry Pulse survey also confirmed that the healthcare industry is focusing on renovations vs. new construction, with 40% of respondents reporting roughly 50%-75% of projects as renovations.

The Pulse survey also found that more than half of respondents (59%) planned to focus their construction efforts on medical office buildings (MOBs) and outpatient facilities.

Survey respondents also noted a trend toward an increase in emergency room construction (33%) and senior living/nursing facilities (31%).