One of our most frequently cited surveys is the annual Hospital Construction Survey, conducted in cooperation with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Always among the top-rated features on our website, the Health Facilities Management/ASHE Hospital Construction Survey has established a regular following of professionals involved in health care organizations, design firms, construction companies and vendors as well as researchers in various fields.

However, I’m sometimes contacted by professionals looking for information on health care construction that isn’t included in the survey, such as absolute measures of dollars being spent on all health care construction or comparisons of health care construction with building activity in other industries.

While the most in-depth and customized data can probably be purchased in a report from firms like CMD or Dodge Data & Analytics, there are a number of free resources that can be useful for rough estimates and back-of-the-envelope planning.

One particularly handy tool is the American Institute of Architects Consensus Construction Forecast Panel that collects forecasts from a wide variety of sources and posts them on the AIA website twice a year. This gives viewers an option to look at the individual forecasts from sources like the Associated Builders and Contractors or meld their predictions into a semiannual consensus forecast. Health care construction forecasts are singled out along with other segments such as education, office, and amusement and recreation construction.

A deeper aggregation of data and analysis can be found in Gilbane Building Company’s Construction Economics report that can be downloaded as a PDF. While health care construction is only a small portion of its wide sweep, it’s well worth a look for its perspective on the overall construction industry as well as for links to other construction data resources.

For recent and historical construction spending by dollar, the Census Bureau tracks construction underway for various industries, including health care. Readers have an option to download this frequently cited data as a PDF or Excel file.

As with all data, some caveats apply when accessing these reports. For instance, health facilities professionals must be careful to avoid conflating “hospital” with the much broader “health care” when comparing the reports. Likewise, attention should be paid to whether current conditions are being measured by building permits, construction underway or some other benchmark.

Still, even this short look at the available data demonstrates there is a wide array of choices for those seeking a glimpse into the health care construction market.

Do you have a favorite health care construction source?