An emergency medical facility in Wuhan, China was completed in just 10 days to treat patients infected with the coronavirus. The makeshift emergency facility is made up of two floors and has several isolation wards, 1,600 beds and 30 intensive care units. The facility which is 645,000-square-feet and can hold up to 1,000 patients; took in its first patients on Monday.
Pictures of the construction first emerged on January 23 on social media, showing dozens of bulldozers and excavators rushing to level the ground at the site. In the days that followed, a live stream was set up for others to keep up with the construction progress. David Hartley, the managing director at engineering company NTX and a construction expert stated that prefabricated units were the key to constructing a building at such a fast speed.
Construction of the hospital
Instead of first constructing the foundation and then following up with the superstructure (such as the steel frame, the building, and the cladding), prefabricated units allowed the construction of the foundation and the building envelope to take place at the same time. The pre-fabricated elements which are like Lego blocks were fabricated off-site in a factory while the foundations were being prepared on-site.
Quick construction, however, of temporary hospitals under emergency situations is not a new thing. In 2011, Johnson Portables, a specialist in temporary medical space, manufactured and built a 60-bed hospital in Missouri, after a tornado destroyed St. Johns Regional Medical Center. The facility opened in 88 days.
The Wuhan state is also building another hospital just 25 miles away from Huoshenshan, which will also be dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients and is scheduled to accept its first patients on Wednesday.