Innovations in Construction

Buildings That Make a Difference: Clemson University Center for Nursing, Health Innovation, and Research

By January 4, 2022 No Comments

We don’t often think about construction changing lives, but every day, designers, general contractors, and preconstruction teams are building structures that make a huge impact on us all.

Construction shelters the homeless, gives the sick a place to heal, provides us castles so we can rest, offers employees spaces to produce their best work, builds communities recreation facilities to keep our bodies healthy, and develops schools an avenue for our children to prosper.

We move in and out of structures all day every day, mostly taking construction for granted. It isn’t often we make a conscious effort to be thankful for the buildings we live in, work at, and visit every time we walk through the doors.

When someone outside the construction industry thinks about essential buildings like schools and hospitals, they probably think about the team working inside those buildings rather than the team behind the construction of the building making a difference. However, the buildings themselves and the team behind them have the power to drastically change and even save lives.

The role preconstruction plays in the development of these projects is not to be ignored. With data analysis and estimate comparisons, estimators can offer suggestions in the beginning phase of a project that could determine whether a hospital can efficiently and affordably add more rooms, shelters to incorporate more spaces for resources, and schools to add more learning labs, libraries, and other educational spaces.

Preconstruction services are especially imperative in medical building projects, not only to meet the unique challenges of the requirements of building a medical facility but also to facilitate communication and collaboration between designers and owners.

DESTINI Estimator client, Brasfield & Gorrie’s project Clemson University Center for Nursing, Health Innovation, and Research.

One such institution that recognizes the efforts it takes and the importance of health and design as a collaborative effort is Clemson University in Greenville, South Carolina. The Clemson University School of Nursing has also helped ease a historical nursing shortage in its home state. Beck Technology DESTINI Estimator client, Brasfield & Gorrie (along with Batson Architects and Hughes Development Corporation) was contracted to build the university’s Clemson University Center for Nursing, Health Innovation, and Research in 2017.

As one of the country’s largest privately-held construction firms, Brasfield & Gorrie was named the 2021 ENR Southeast Contractor of the Year and specializes in preconstruction, general contracting, design-build, and construction management.

The 78,255 square foot, 4-story facility serves as a clinical learning and research center with virtual reality IV and high-fidelity patient simulators. There are also collaborative spaces, classrooms, and offices.

The Clemson University Center for Nursing, Health Innovation, and Research combined with the USC School of Medicine Greenville are now one of the largest simulation facilities in the United States. It has also allowed the expansion of the Clemson University School of Nursing to double the number of nursing students admitted into the nursing program, answering the call to the nursing shortage in South Carolina.

In August 2021, South Carolina was the fourth worst state in the country suffering a shortage of nurses. According to, “The state is on track to have one of the most severe nurse shortages in the country by 2030. South Carolina is estimated to lack roughly 10,000 nurses to meet the growing demand.”

Brasfield & Gorrie write, “GHS (Greenville Health System) anticipates more than $33 million in savings from reductions in supplemental staffing, nurse turnovers, and residency/training programs in the next 10 years thanks to the program.”

The Clemson University School of Nursing now offers an educational certificate in Leadership and Innovation in Health + Design and holds the annual International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design which began in 2019.

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