The University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Construction Industry Institute (CII) has worked with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Military Health System (MHS), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and other health care organizations to develop a landmark benchmarking system for health care capital projects.
This benchmarking program allows health care owners and contractors/architects to compare their projects to similar ones completed by other companies. This unique collaborative effort is unprecedented and brings significant value to the industry as a whole and to the individual companies participating the program.
What is the Construction Industry Institute (CII)?
The Construction Industry Institute (CII), is a research and development lab for the capital projects industry, based at the University of Texas, Austin. A unique consortium of more than 130 leading owner and engineering-contractor firms from both the public and private sectors, CII and its members collaborate to conduct tailored, sector-specific research to target current industry demands.
Since 1995, CII has developed a statistically credible Performance Assessment (PA) program that can be easily integrated into the project delivery process. In the PA program, the performance and practice use of a single project is compared against a statistically-significant number of similar projects that were typically executed by reputable organizations in a similar sector (i.e., health care).
More information about CII can be found at: https://www.construction-institute.org
What Types of Projects?
During the initial planning stages of this program, it became apparent that some metrics would apply to most health care facility project types while others would be relevant to only a few types. In order to accomplish apples-to-apples comparison, a team of industry experts and CII researchers developed a framework of similar facility types. Table 1 contains a simplified version of this framework.
While it doesn’t make sense to compare the cost of building a kitchen to the cost of building a surgery center, likewise, it doesn’t make sense to compare the cost of a clinic to a tertiary care hospital. Therefore, CII’s benchmarking questionnaire starts with identifying your particular type of health care building.
The major categories include, inpatient, outpatient, laboratories, central utility plants, parking garages, etc. And each major category is broken down into sub categories for instance.
In addition to building type, the work type must be established in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison: Work types include brand new building, addition, renovation, etc. Because the program of a medical building has a great impact on the cost and other metrics, the health care questionnaire asks for programmatic and dimensional information to ensure a comprehensive approach to measuring health care facilities.
What Metrics are Included in the Program?
A comprehensive list of metrics has been identified by industry experts. The Health Care Facilities Benchmarking Program focuses on metrics for capital projects in four categories:
Highlight the actual or planned costs for the entire project or aspects of the project relative to square footage or to other costs such as those related to commissioning. Where square footage is used, both Building Gross Square Footage (BGSF) and Departmental Gross Square Footage (DGSF) are used. Costs for most CSI Masterformat divisions (1-48) are also used relative to BGSF or site size.
Highlight the actual or planned project or project phase duration relative to BGSF.
Highlight the ratio of both warm (i.e., with HVAC) and cold shelled-space relative to both BGSF and DGSF. These metrics also include ratios of specific exterior envelope materials to exterior surface area.
Highlight issues related to the size of the facility and its departments relative to the number of licensed beds and regional population served.