BDP has turned around multiple sites for temporary hospitals across UK in record time. The first field hospital was the conversion of the ExCeL London exhibition centre into an emergency COVID-19 facility with 4,000 beds. BDP delivered the first 500 beds in just nine days. Whilst it is a sobering thought that these beds could be used, it remains a feat of planning and teamwork to achieve something so vital and important at this time.
BDP worked closely with clinicians, consultants, contractors, including main contractor CFES, the ExCeL facilities management team and the British Army, ensuring that every bed could be fitted with all the equipment required to treat seriously ill patients, cared for by dedicated staff in full PPE equipment.
The bed heads and service corridors were constructed from a component system that is usually used to construct exhibition stands and there was some simple reinforcement to allow services to be fitted to the walls. Minimal building intervention enabled maximum use of the building’s assets.
Clinical flows determined the circulation strategy within the building. The wards are linked with a temporary tunnel across a boulevard which allows connection to the diagnostics area. Staff move from the boulevard to and from the ICU wards via the don and doff rooms, allowing PPE to be donned and doffed, which is key to infection control.
The ExCeL centre’s existing electrical infrastructure was modified to increase the resilience, UPS and temporary generators. The temporary electrics used for exhibitions were used to feed a 3m section of bed head dado trunking prefabricated by electricians on site.
The medical gas installation comprised two distribution ring mains run around the basement car park at high level, rising up to feed each bed head through the services floor boxes and then distributed to the bed head via the service corridor.