Skanska’s Prognos early cost modeling app for healthcare projects – which InformationWeek magazine lauded this month as one of “20 Great Ideas to Steal in 2014” – originated out of frustration two years ago. Back then, Senior Vice President Andrew Quirk thought that designers, builders and owners began planning healthcare projects with too many preconceived ideas – about room sizes, finishes and so on – beyond what’s required by codes and standards.
By not starting from a mostly blank sheet of paper, opportunities were being missed to deliver more efficient building programs, and in turn potentially increase each client’s return on investment, thought Quirk, national director of Skanska’s Healthcare Center of Excellence.
“I was trying to get to a point where you could help clients think differently about a project, and challenge them to think outside of norms,” Quirk said.
Quirk saw the solution as a tool that would enable Skanska clients to conceive their new physical environments in a better way – and that tool is now Prognos, available for iPads through Skanska’s App Store. With Prognos, healthcare clients build only what they need at the cost they can afford, plus capitalize on revenue-generating spaces and realize energy savings when possible. Prognos (means “prognosticate” or “predict” in Swedish – Skanska’s roots) shows an owner these elements at the onset of a project.
App in action
Using this app begins with a Skanska team working with a client to evaluate building components – such as the number of hospital beds, number of floors, size of the emergency department – in real time. The resulting cost model can easily be modified to show different options.
Prognos’ additional features make it unlike anything else in healthcare. Once a construction cost is determined by each hospital service line, Prognos then allows the user to perform “what-if” calculations for energy usage, square foot efficiency and sustainability calculations, as well as to do an ROI analysis. The data is stored in the cloud – enabling adjustments to continue in the future – and a report can be sent directly from an iPad to the client as a reference for future conversations.
To serve clients across the United States, geographical zone information is used for energy calculations, and a city index is used to calculate construction costs, which vary by region.
But even more important than the numbers is the process that leads to them.
“This supports having a more in-depth dialogue with the client,” Quirk said. “The idea is that by filling out the layers of this app together, both the client and Skanska start asking, ‘What if we did this – what would it do to the model?”