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Attendee Comments

  "Thoroughly enjoyed all the presentations"  
  ""That was a great program"  
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  "Really good event."  
  "Condensed format and size. So many of the conferences I attend are 2-3 days long which is hard to be out of the office that long. Loved that this was a one day event and that there were not masses of people... easy to connect with people"  
   "The mix of topics/speakers"  
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  "Networking and the vision of Healthcare"  
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  "Ray Pentecost's session was superb! Data driven, historical references, thought provoking"  
  "Individual lectures"  
  "The information regarding the tall hospitals."  

Publisher’s Note on World’s Tallest 75 Hospitals:

The list of the world’s 75 Tallest Hospitals (compiled by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats) is available upon request by emailing Glenn Fischer, Executive VP at SquareFootage:


    Houston 2017 - Post Summit Recap





  Key Takeaway Messages

  Texas Healthcare Real Estate 2017 Post Event Wrap Up, February 24, 2017, Houston, TX
  Reported by Ralph Bivins, Editor of Realty News Report (www.realtynewsreport.com)
  Healthcare Reform Uncertainty Not Slowing Healthcare Real Estate & Expansion Decisions
  The “repeal and replace” Obamacare health insurance discussions under the Trump administration have not slowed down activity in the healthcare industry, says Eric Johnson, national director of Transwestern’s healthcare advisory group.

Under the Obama administration, healthcare industry delayed decisions about expansion and capital spending because of the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Healthcare Act, which was passed in 2010.

Even though there are a lot of unknowns currently, as healthcare reform is proposed and discussed in Washington, this time the healthcare industry seems confident enough to move ahead with expansion plans and transactions, Johnson said. Today’s “repeal and replace” initiative has not halted decision making, said Johnson, who oversees the national healthcare practice for Transwestern, a Houston-based commercial real estate firm.

In some respects, however, the medical real estate market has been remarkably stable in recent years. The occupancy rate at the nation’s investor-owned outpatient buildings has been largely unchanged since the Great Recession ended. According to the Revista organization, the occupancy rate for these buildings rose from 91.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 92.5 percent by the third quarter of 2016.

In Houston, the expansion into the suburbs has been rapid as hospital systems have opened new facilities to keep up with population growth.

Hospitals must expand into the various suburban markets – The Woodlands, Katy and Fort Bend County – to have complete coverage areas and maintain market share, Johnson said.

Houston has more than 5 million square feet of medical related construction – hospitals and medical office buildings – is currently under construction, according to Transwestern.
  Construction: The Big Ones Were Built in Houston
  Houston dominates the list of the world’s tallest healthcare facilities, said Doug King, principal of Stantec.

The tallest healthcare building in the world is the 498-foot-tall Memorial Hermann tower in the Texas Medical Center, King said. It’s closely followed by Guy’s Hospital Tower in London at 488 feet.

Other Houston medical buildings in the world’s Top 11 tallest healthcare buildings are the O’Quinn Medical Tower, the expanded Texas Children’s Hospital (scheduled to open in 2018) and Methodist Outpatient Care Center.

Developers of medical towers have not ventured into the realm of skyscraper buildings and many of them seem confined to 30 stories or less, in many cases. The height of medical buildings are constrained by the need for heavy MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing); fire and safety concerns and practical limits on elevators, King said.

Of special note are vertical transportation systems in these tall, tall hospitals is the need for fast elevators, said King. “Success of a building lives and dies with elevators systems.”
  Growing in Stature

Higher land costs in dense places such as the Texas Medical Center require larger buildings in order to make the projects viable.

Memorial Hermann paid $300 per square foot for the building site of one of its taller towers in the Medical Center, said Marshall Heins, former senior vice president and chief facilities services officer for the organization.

Officials at another TMC institution, Texas Children’s Hospital decided to go add 19 stories on top of a six-story existing building. “Vertical expansion was best,” said Jill Pearsall, assistant vice president of facilities planning and development at Texas Children’s. “If you’re going to build, you might as well build big,” said Pearsall.

Houston Methodist also has a significant number of new projects, most notably its North Tower in the Texas Medical Center. The 925,000-square-foot facility, located near the intersection of Bertner Avenue and Moursund Street, is expected to be completed at the end of the year.

Sid Sanders, senior vice president of facilities and construction at Houston Methodist, said the institution is developing a 193-bed hospital in The Woodlands, north of Houston. Scheduled for completion this summer, project will have the six-story, 480,000-square-foot hospital and six-story medical official building. Houston Methodist also has few facilities underway in Sugar Land and in west Houston.

  Body of Medical Knowledge Expanding at Rapid Rate
  Ray Pentecost, DrPH, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP, Ronald L. Skaggs and Joseph G. Sprague Chair of Health Facilities Design, Director, Center for Health Systems & Design, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University
  • Medical knowledge and research is expanding rapidly as technological advances progress with great speed, Pentecost said. A medical professional would have to read an impossible 29 hours a day to stay current.

  • "We can't keep up anymore," Pentecost said.

  • By 2020, the known body of medical knowledge will double every 73 days, he said. The only way to stay current will require adoption and widespread use of technological advances, including robotics.