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China Building Prefab Hospital in 10 Days

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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The city of Wuhan, China, recently began the ambitious project of building a 1,000-bed hospital in just 10 days with the goal of treating victims of the coronavirus outbreak.

As of the publishing time of this article, 4,500 people across China have been diagnosed and just over 100 have died.

The country has also reportedly locked down several cities, isolating about 50 million people, as well as extending the Lunar New Year holiday in an attempt to keep people at home.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called this a “grave situation.”

The Mission

Chinese officials are taking a page out of its 2003 book for reference, when 7,000 workers in Beijing constructed the Xiaotangshan hospital out of prefabricated materials to combat the Sars outbreak of that time.

Officials say that the Xiaotangshan project is serving as a template for the Wuhan facility, which is being built on a 25,000-square-meter (269,000-square-foot) site.

Machinery that included 35 diggers and 10 bulldozers reportedly arrives onsite Thursday night, and China State Construction Engineering (just one of the companies involved) reported that it had more than 100 workers on the site.

The prefabricated nature should help keep cost, waste and time down on the construction, and is being utilized in part because this structure doesn’t necessarily need all of the normal amenities that a full hospital would have, according to James Crispino, a Principal at Gensler, who noted that the main purpose is to isolate people.

"Since that's its only purpose, it is not a hospital in the conventional sense," Crispino said in an interview. "This hospital will have assessment and triage capabilities, some imaging capabilities, a clinical laboratory, a pharmacy, and isolation rooms—but not much else."

He went on to say that air flow and air pressure are going to be the keys for this structure.

"Air must be introduced to the room from the ceiling above the patient and exhausted low along the wall around the perimeter of the room. Air filtration in these systems is very important and they often employ HEPA filtration."

The Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital, one of several that the country is currently constructing, aims to be open by Feb. 3. China’s National Development and Reform Commissions, the country’s state planning agency, is reportedly investing 300 million yuan ($43.5 million) for the construction.


Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Construction; COVID-19; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Health Care/Hospitals; Prefabrication; Safety

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