When Wuhan, China, began to first wrestle with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the need for medical centers, it turned to modular construction. In less than two weeks, it was able to create the 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital and the 1,600-bed Leishenshan Hospital. Videos of the construction were shown on YouTube.
As the coronavirus begins to take hold in the U.S., many are wondering whether there will be a similar need here. There’s even talk of turning New York City’s Javits Center into a temporary medical facility. Some cities are repurposing hotels and other facilities to quarantine people or provide support for the homeless.
With the demand for hospital facilities set to hit critical mass within the next few weeks, especially in large urban areas, many people are looking to modular construction as a potential solution.
Why modular construction is a good fit for hospitals
Stephen B. Jacobs , FAIA of Stephen B. Jacobs Group, PC , the architect behind the tallest modular hotel in New York City, explains that the ideal projects for modular construction are ones that have a lot of repetition. This means that both nursing homes and hospitals (as well as hotels and apartment buildings) are a natural fit.
Modular construction can be assembled quickly and isn’t dependent on the weather. This means modules, which are built in a factory, can be assembled at any time. Right now, while there are concerns regarding social distancing, putting modules together may require some different practices.
What may slow the process