As medicine moves out of the inpatient setting and into the outpatient setting, everything from minor surgical procedures to ambulatory care will need to be supported in a medical office building (MOB). The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) challenge of this new model is to design MOBs with enough flexibility to anticipate future growth and change, right from day one.

There are two building methods employed to ensure future flexibility in today’s MOBs: the full core, shell, and interiors build-out and the infrastructure-ready facility. Each has its own advantages and challenges, and can support a wide variety of tenants.

The build-out

In a full core, shell, and interiors build-out, the entire MOB—including spaces planned for future use—is completed up front. From drywall to the full MEP infrastructure, the entire building is move-in ready from the start.
The advantage is that the extra space is already available and ready to use when needed. Additionally, with construction costs likely to rise over time, completing the entire facility during the initial construction will likely cost less per square foot, making the build-out more economical in the long run.

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