Season 2 – Episode 03: Huoshenshan Hospital

Building a hospital is no easy endeavour, requiring intense coordination, collaboration, and planning. Building a hospital in just 10 days is a feat all of its own, and this episode we discuss the Huoshenshan Hospital, which was built in just 10 days in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the Leishenshan Hospital which was built in just 12 days.

The Huoshenshan hospital is make-shift 1000-bed hospital in China’s Wuhan region, and was constructed specifically to treat patients suffering from COVID19. Staffed by 1,400 medical staff sourced through China’s armed forces, the 2,500 m2 hospital is located on the outskirts of Wuhan city, and was constructed out of pre-fabricated modules that were assembled before arriving on site at a total cost of $1 Billion RMB (~$143 Million USD). The hospital was a redesign of the Xiaotangshan hospital which was built during 2003’s SARS outbreak, and which was built in an even more impressive 7 days and treated roughly a seventh of all SARS patients in the country before being decommissioned in June of 2003.

Hospitals in general are the site of a number of impressive scientific and engineering innovations, and in addition to our analysis of the Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals we review some of the techniques used in hospitals around the world to control of everything from humans to the air itself. One such innovation is Negative Pressure airflow, a system that has hospital rooms under positive pressure and hallways under negative pressure, which helps to stop the mixing of contaminates and prevent airflow between two spaces when doors opens. In the cases of labs or ultra contagious rooms for patients with infectious diseases such as SARS or COVID19 the rooms are negatively pressurized as well as outfitted with HEPA filters to help keep ventilation systems free of contagions. 

We also discuss the retrofitting of public buildings such as sports stadiums and convention centres, how these spaces are assessed to determine whether they can meet international infection control and treatment standards, as well as the process of determining a balance of cost, time, and outcome when making such decisions in different countries and political systems around the world. 


Image Gallery

Leishenshan hospital | Construction | Isolation ward | Rendering of hospital layout | Hospital prefab


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Music by: John Julius –

Edited by: Astronomic Audio

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