What Are the Differences Between Industrial, Medical, and Institutional Construction? [Video]

Different industries have different requirements for the buildings they use. Commercial construction projects, for example, will be very different from medical construction and design projects. To understand the differences between industrial, medical, and institutional construction projects, we sat down with George Ray, President and Owner of ACI, and discussed the differences between commercial construction and these specialized niches.

Transcript: *Remarks have been edited for clarity*

George Ray:

“Well, industrial construction generally involves some type of manufacturing. Examples that we have done lately, we do a lot of work for Meadville Forging Company and Channellock here locally. Generally, if it’s a new building, we’d be looking at pre-engineered metal buildings. They could have cranes in them. They generally involve a lot of concrete work. Last year we did a project for Lord up in Saegertown, Pennsylvania and we actually had to build blast walls. Those blast walls were designed in case the specific material they were working on in that new building caused a fire and could cause an explosion and didn’t take out the rest of the plant. So concrete work is really a big thing in industrial. You can have these big presses that require special foundations dug down into the ground, furnaces that require pits underneath them, we’re familiar with all that and actually have our own crews that can perform that work.

Medical construction, it’s a lot cleaner construction. You generally are looking at bricks and mortar on the exterior of a building, structural steel, and then interior finishes, or metal studs, and drywall can have very specific requirements. If there are x-ray rooms there could be lead lining on drywall, lead lining on doors, and special windows, viewing windows, clean rooms require special HVAC systems with HEPA Filtration possibly. And we just are in the process of completing a new clinic for Meadville Medical Center in Conneautville right now. And we’re getting ready to start. It actually started this week a new doctor’s office for Whole Health Joint Institute here in Meadville and that was a complete design-build project that is a two-story building. It will have an x-ray in it so again, those specialty items. 

Institutional construction usually involves things like nursing homes. Probably the most prevalent one around here is the nursing homes. It could be schools. We have several customers that we work for. Wesbury here locally we’ve done a lot of work for them. One of the things, specifically with institutional, especially with renovations and additions is you’re working around existing people. It could be kids, it could be elderly. So there are a lot more precautions that have to be taken. All of our people are background checked and to make sure if there are kids on sites. Such as, we do a lot of work for Bethesda Lutheran services, and again that the type of construction is similar to medical and its bricks, and mortar, and finishes, metal studs, drywall inside, but again, just a little different in the work atmosphere. 

Usually one of the main differences is– or two main differences– are usually cost and timelines. Your institutional projects and your medical projects generally are more expensive. They have a lot more requirements to meet and they take longer generally to build. Industrial usually can be fairly quick projects when you’re using pre-engineered metal buildings they go up fairly quickly. There’s usually not a lot of finishes inside so we can get in, get foundations, and get buildings up and get them completed on a lot quicker basis.

Thank you for watching. We appreciate your time and if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to look at our website or give us a call here we certainly can help.”

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About Author

blog author

George Ray

George Ray is the owner of ACI and has been working in the construction industry for over 40 years. George has worked in the field in numerous roles including Laborer, Carpenter, Superintendent, as well as office roles including Estimator, Project Manager, Sales, Controller, VP, and President. He has extensive experience with pre-engineered buildings and design build.

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