Architects Spring into Action to Build Emergency Structures During Global Pandemic

Architects Spring into Action to Build Emergency Structures During Global Pandemic

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, hospitals are running short on space. Now, governments and communities are tasking architects and builders to help retrofit and build new spaces to house patients.

The pandemic hit especially hard in Italy, with hundreds of thousands of cases reported. Architect Carlo Ratti has come up with what he calls CURA: Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments. The pods are intensive care units housed in old shipping containers.

In a press release, Ratti’s firm says “each unit works autonomously and can be shipped anywhere. Individual pods are connected by an inflatable structure to create multiple modular configurations (from 4 beds to over 40), which can be deployed in just a few hours.”

Thanks to negative pressure, CURA is compact and is hosted within a 20-foot intermodal container with biocontainment.

In the United States, Michigan has become an epicenter of the virus, and now, one Northern Michigan builder is on a mission to provide vital infrastructure for their community.

Britten Woodworks is building portable hand-washing stations and sanitizing stands for medical centers and other needs. On the company’s website, they say their design is compact, portable, durable and can be built and delivered in a week. Their sister company, Britten, has also rolled out cough guards for use at reception areas.

In the Detroit area, hospitals are close to running out of space. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has authorized the use of a famous convention center, TCF Center, to be retrofitted to hold extra hospital beds.

In Northern Michigan, hospital representatives from Munson Healthcare say they are also analyzing spaces that could be used to hold extra patients if they were to run out of room in their facilities.