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Hospital Construction: Seeing Beyond the Obvious Costs

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Maintenance, renovations, and construction projects have become just as much a part of modern healthcare facility management as infection control and patient safety. However, the costs associated with diligent hospital risk management alongside these projects aren’t always obvious. Even the most visible expenses, like overall construction costs and materials, have exploded in the last several years. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors, the cost of building materials has increased by more than 37% since 2020 alone. Similarly, the yearly square foot cost has increased more than 20% over the last five years.  

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When the more direct costs are increasing so greatly, how much more could your hidden costs be increasing as well? Over time, inconveniences like single-use materials, equipment downtime, and setup time can add up to become a much larger problem — and overall cost to your bottom line. Worse yet, these issues contribute to compromised safety in your facility during already chaotic projects like construction or renovations. 

The Problem With Single-use Materials

Convenience can help move construction projects forward. It’s one of the most beneficial ways that you as a facility manager can set your facility up for success. But when convenience begins to cost more — time, money, and labor — than you initially planned for, it’s time to take a different approach. 

One-time-use materials in a construction project are a great example of this. When you need to block off an area of your facility for a project, plastic single-use wall barriers might seem like the quickest and easiest solution. However, consider the setup and teardown time, and the massive waste of resources when you discard them at the end of the project. Not only have you invested your project timeline to set up and tear down, but throwing them out after they served their purpose means that your invested budget cannot stretch across multiple projects. 

In some cases, the temporary solution doesn’t even provide the level of patient safety that you’d expect. When plastic wall barriers aren’t installed correctly or are improperly sealed, your facility is left vulnerable to the spread of disease, irritation due to construction dust, and more. 

Maximize Value With High-quality Equipment

When your facility’s health and safety are on the line during a construction or renovation project, high-quality equipment can make all the difference. When compared with low-quality or temporary solutions, tried and tested equipment helps to manage your overall construction costs as well as patient safety at large. While cheaper or one-time-use equipment may offer some value at a lower initial price point, they also tend to need more regular maintenance, repair, or replacement. 

When you choose to invest in high-quality equipment from the start, you reap the benefits of fewer repairs and less overall maintenance, while spreading the purchase price of that machine over tens or hundreds of projects each year. Similarly, choosing the right equipment upfront means that your patients and staff get the benefit of a higher level of protection against the spread of harmful airborne particles from active construction work. 

Ensure Safety During Hospital Renovations With ICRA

Effectively implementing the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) protocols is essential for safe healthcare environments, especially during construction. The ICRA matrix breaks down any project into the exact precautions to take for the safest possible healthcare construction in your facility. 


Based on your project type and the potential impact of the work, ICRA provides a clear look at the level of danger to your facility’s population and the specific steps that you and your teams can take to keep everyone safe from hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). 

Why You Need to Comply With ICRA

As a part of your hospital's commitment to safety, complying with ICRA standards is a great way to systematically protect your patients, staff, and visitors from the spread of infection and potential irritation from construction-related dust and debris. Additionally, these measures are key for keeping your facility compliant with regulatory standards through disruptions caused by construction activities. 

Prepare for Challenges in ICRA Implementation

It’s important to note that while ICRA is critical for healthy and safe construction, it’s not always the easiest path to take. You’ll particularly want to keep in mind that ICRA can be more time-consuming and costly than typical operations outside of construction activities. 

  • Time-consuming processes: Added steps like wearing appropriate PPE, additional hand-washing, changing clothes, etc. can add time to otherwise straightforward hospital operations. 
  • Cost implications: The ICRA educational courses cost money, and additional equipment to comply with ICRA standards may pose an additional cost as well. Similarly, the time required to complete ICRA processes will cost more in labor over time. 

While these challenges will pay off in the level of safety you’re able to provide to your facility, it’s important to anticipate them and prepare ahead of time. 

How Your Equipment Impacts Health and Safety

Your facility maintenance teams as well as the construction crews that you choose to work with have a major impact on the safety of any projects that your facility may take on. Their level of education and understanding of safe construction practices and ICRA standards can help things go more smoothly and with less overall risk to your facility, but they can’t do it alone. 

There is a Direct Link Between Equipment Quality and Patient Safety

High-quality, reliable equipment plays a key role in hospital risk management. From dust containment to general infection control to sealing off active construction, the tools that you choose can drastically reduce the likelihood of harmful particles and potential diseases entering patient areas and potentially causing health complications. Better yet, when you do the appropriate research you support more efficient patient care and safety practices. Look for ICRA-compliant equipment, HEPA-certified filters, and other certifications that confirm you’re getting a quality piece of equipment. 

Cut Costs Without Cutting Corners With High-quality Equipment

When you choose high-quality equipment for our healthcare facility, you’re not only securing the immediate benefits of improved health and safety. Yes, great equipment helps to keep patients safe and hospital operations smooth, but it also brings long-term cost savings as well — through saving both time and money. High-quality equipment means you’re not constantly repairing or replacing machines that break down. 

Similarly, high-quality equipment makes maintaining the entire facility a whole lot easier. Think about it this way: when you have reliable tools and machines, your maintenance team can do their job more efficiently. This leads to a cleaner, safer environment for everyone, from patients to staff. 

HEPACART®: A Reliable Partner in Healthcare Facility Maintenance

Are you looking for a trustworthy resource for industry-leading equipment to support your healthcare construction safety goals and compliance? Our selection of tools from dust containment to air filtration and more can help to achieve safe and compliant healthcare construction. 

HEPACART's State-of-the-art Equipment


When you choose HEPACART as your healthcare infection control equipment source, you can trust that you’re investing in durable, high-quality equipment that will help you combat construction dust and the spread of disease effectively for years to come. With a variety of solutions to choose from, you can create the perfect team of tools to align with your facility’s specific needs. Our equipment roster includes equipment like: 

DustBuggy Classic: Available in two sizes, the DustBuggy Classic is a mobile dust containment cart that offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional containment methods without compromising safety. Its quick setup and economic pricing, combined with the option to add filtration later, make it an excellent choice for facilities prioritizing both safety and budget.

HEPACART® Classic: This original model combines the convenience of the DUSTBUGGY with advanced HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration, making it ideal for high-risk environments. Available in three sizes, the HEPACART Classic ensures medical-grade 99.99% efficiency in removing micro particles from the air, with a design focused on durability and safety. For added convenience, consider the Auto Lift model with an easy push-button lift mechanism for even greater ease of use. 

HEPACART AnteRoom: The award-winning HEPACART AnteRoom module creates a safe, clean environment by serving as an entryway that controls dust and contaminants during construction or maintenance. Its compatibility with various air filtration systems, easy installation, and optional accessories make it a comprehensive solution for room isolation. 

STARC Systems: The STARC Systems RealWall® offers an environmentally friendly, reusable option for temporary dust containment. Its simple, airtight design can adapt to any space, ensuring cleanliness and safety. Replace single-use temporary plastic walls with this reusable solution for a cost-effective and environmentally friendly construction solution. 

Empower Your Approach to Indoor Air Quality With HEPACART

When you’re mitigating hospital risks, infection control, and managing facility budgets, you don’t have to do it alone. Trust our library of infection control and healthcare construction resources for the information that you need to make your facility as safe and healthy as it can be — easily and all in one convenient place. 

If you’re searching for guidance and support in creating a comprehensive infection control plan in your facility, download our free indoor air quality guide today. 


The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Air Quality in High-Risk Environments