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Here’s How China Managed to Build a 400,000-Square Feet Hospital in Just 7 Days

  • The hospital is made of pre-fab modules, which were assembled on the site.
  • Around 7000 people worked on the hospital and construction went on 24-7.
  • Special care was given on ventilation to contain the virus.

Amidst the scare and panic brought about by the coronavirus, China still manages to go about their business of protecting their people. Incredibly, the government built a huge hospital (which will house the coronavirus patients) in just 7 days!

It’s mind-boggling but they actually accomplished it. So how on earth can a nearly 400,000-square feet facility get built in such a short period of time? It’s all about prefabrication and lots of manpower, which China has in abundance.

The Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan is actually made of modules, which were made way before the hospital was assembled.

The modules were most likely stored somewhere, to be used when needed.

So technically, the seven days reported to have the hospital built consisted of assembling the prefabricated modules together.
Still, its an awesome feat considering the scale of the project.

The hospital was modeled after Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing, which was built in 2003 for the SARS outbreak. However, the blocks for this new hospital was assembled differently.

According to a CNN source, the design for Huoshenshan Hospital can’t be copied completely from Xiaotangshan’s design since the former needs to have 1000 beds for 400,000 square feet.

The modules used for Huoshenshan are way superior than the usual shipping containers used in most buildings. Corner castings and the dimensions were standardized so the parts were transported quickly and cheaply.

Structural engineer Thornsten Helbig explained:

“Because units are assembled under the controlled environment of a factory, designers and builders can troubleshoot any problems and make sure all the modular blocks work together before they’re even brought in.”

It’s a bit different case for building the hospital because rather than having completed rooms shipped, the parts were put together on site. So it’s more like having pre-made components assembled into modules on site.

Of course, lots of people were needed to build the structure in record-time.
Around 7000 tradespeople worked on the hospital and construction was going on around-the-clock.

Ventilation is definitely a major consideration here since the virus must be contained.

A CNN report tells us:

“All the rooms are under negative pressure. This means that air flows into rooms, rather than out into the corridor, much like most apartment buildings which have pressurized corridors in order for smells to stay in apartments.

“You can see here that they are even installing the ducts outside of the entire building, to avoid any chance of virus leaking out, although this could also be because there isn’t much ceiling height to put them inside.”

Here’s a time lapse video of this amazing construction feat:

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