COVID-19 medical emergency serves as an era denominating its pre and post manifesting phases.
While the world plans to enter the third phase, hospitals must also pull gears to demarcate their entry into it. After all, a medical set up features as the lifeline of a country diagnosing and treating patients in distress.
This article discusses the transformation in the hospital design due to the impact of COVID-19. It outlines the changing trends for medical setups and their methods of coping with the post-epidemic situation.
A Brief History
Prior to substantiating the post-COVID-19 scenario, it is pertinent to take a brief glimpse of the COVID-19 situation.
First and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic recognized the increasing demand for beddings in the medical facility. The number went on increasing week by week as it stood directly proportional to the number of cases.
Following this tradition and upgrading it with newer dimensions, Mumbai installed an entire mega ground. Further, the city covered this ground with beddings owing to the peaking up COVID-19 cases.
In other words, this was the new normal and people welcomed it with mixed attitudes. Personal protective gear was manufactured in bulk in order to be distributed to all.
Moreover, innovation policies in health, hygiene, and medications were on the mast. Video diagnosis became an everyday affair with safe medical dispensers installed in every next hospital.
Architects from different corners of the country approached medical facilities to renovate their premises with new designs.
Some of the prominent hospital designs are mentioned as follows:
Recycling and Optimization
The hospital setups must utilize prefabricated pods from refurbished sea containers in disaster-prone areas. In other words, architects while designing hospitals post COVID-19 need to remove unnecessary decorations in order to avoid wastage of concrete materials.
Moreover, the recycling and optimization of waste should cater to the curtailment of the pandemic. It should address certain paramount factors for this. These factors comprise:
Accessibility to all (both rural and urban areas including all villages, towns, cities, and metropolis)
The immediacy of care
Economic installations and uses
Socially-integrative to help everyone in distress
Therefore, recyclable hospital designs are a boon to the post epidemic society. They revolutionize the structural and functional dynamics of a medical set up and render it noteworthy for subsequent diagnosis.
Additionally, these interiors adhere to all healthcare standards with a premium material suitable for hospital setups. These setups constitute bactericidal, virucidal, and fungicidal solutions that disinfect the structural premises of the hospital.
More to this, the use of LED lighting and clean and green air-condition systems absorb sunlight and translate it into renewable sources of energy. Also, these refurbished units can be installed with ease. This eventually renders them ready to use facilities within a few days of their deployment.
In fact, these containers can have a size as small as 96x96 which finds usage prior to their complete obliteration in order to engender the next deployment.
These optimal units constitute two variants:
A white variant which functions as neighborhood health installations
A green variant which finds usage in emergency zones
The price for these units can vary between 3.5 lakhs to 25 lakhs depending upon their services constituting the healthcare pod.
The Lego Design
In this, renowned architects suggest the use of repeatable products and streamline materials for construction. This incorporates configurable and standardized hospital facility components.
For example, the design construction of quarantine beds within two weeks follows this Lego design principle. Or else put it, the Lego designs feature as speedy constructions imperative for a post-COVID-19 medical emergency.
Additionally, this design is extendable up to1 million square feet set up amid lockdown and with special government permissions. Also, the construction set up furnishes separate attention to each aspect of the design and monitors its multiple functional dynamics.
Furthermore, this design project is both fast and cost-effective with super-specialty and intensive care treatments. In short, the Lego design acts as an optimal threshold between engineering, architecture, and technology with adequate and effective, and timely constructions.
The prime consideration of this design is the reiterative occurrences of the COVID-19 pandemic and related epidemics.
For this, repurposing fabrications cater to the deployment of affordable construction designs for post-pandemic situations. It also engenders the recruitment of well-trained medical staff and the generation of adequate revenue.
These designs address inexpensive intensive care constructions within three months with a life span of about 10 years.
It comprises a 100-bed facility that can furnish 64 beds In-patient Care Centres and Critical Care through Intensive Care and High Dependency Units of 36 beds. All these beddings have feature well-equipped areas for triage, screening, and discharge of patients.
It also constitutes support areas for CSSD, kitchen, laundry, stores, diagnostics, laboratory, mortuary, etc.
The designed addresses the requirements of air-conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, and fire prevention humidity control, electrical, and fighting measures. Strategies for sewage treatment plants and modular water, fire, etc. are also in place for their quick installation
Re-use of Defunct Structures
This features a climate-sensitive design for new and renovated hospital facilities. It also demarcates a shift between single facility block to new and hybrid prototypes for intensive treatment and care.
Additionally, these designs cater to the sustainability factors and aim to improve in-house medical diagnosis.
This hospital design project blends natural ventilation in alignment with the eco-friendly environment for patients. Enabled with natural light intake features, it also reduces maintenance cost with less dependence on artificial lightening and air-conditioning.
Thus, the pandemic situation hasn’t been an easy one. It has engendered a worldwide discussion over the revamping of hospital designs in addition to new constructions.
The medical units pay attention to their holistic designs and with premium quality materials in addition to factors such as population density, structural mobility within hospital premises, etc.
Further to the above, each of the aforementioned architectural approaches addresses the factors of cost-effectiveness, durability, and reliability while designing post-COVID-19 medical units.
Altogether, COVID-19 has transformed the face hospitals across the world. And India too witnesses hybrid design prototypes entering the medico-architectural markets.
Therefore, hospital owners are suggested to optimize their medical facility with these optimal designs and take a step further in the direction of architectural innovation.
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