"The ’fangcang’ shelter hospital can be regarded as a ‘cabin’ on the ‘Noah's Ark’. By doing simplest space modification and using the smallest social resources, however, the project quickly achieved the purpose of accepting the largest number of patients."
--  Wang Chen, dean of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences


With the completion and functioning of two makeshift hospitals - Leishenshan and Huoshenshan in Wuhan, architectural designers and constructors quickly turned to 13 more of such shelter hospitals in the city. Also called the Fangcang Hospital, these spaces are served as quarantine hospitals designated to treat patients infected with the 2019-nCoV.


The Fangcang Hospital is originated from the field mobile medical system of the People's Liberation Army. Such hospitals are built by several movable modules which can be real houses, tents or other temporarily built.

Generally composed of medical treatment, ward, technical support and living sections, the hospital is a modular sanitary equipment with multiple functions such as emergency aid, surgical treatment, clinical examination and etc.


History of Shelter Hospital in the Globe and China  by logonLAB


Different from the traditional field mobile hospitals for wartime or earthquake relief, the Fangcang Hospital in Wuhan is emergently established in response to nCoV this time. It is a temporary construction located in certain venue and renovated from the existing buildings. The mobility character is mainly showcased in the transportable beds and other medical facilities.

The extensive use of the Fangcang Hospital is a key initiative to prevent and control the 2019-nCoV in China, which never happened before. Such initiative is with higher efficient, lower cost and fully use of the limited space. Then, what are the technical requirements for renovating the "Fangcang"? 

The Technical Requirements for Renovating the "Fangcang Hospital" by logonLAB

The Fangcang Hospital is spacious and capacious, so safety is the priority when doing the design and renovating. Single or multistory buildings are more suitable for renovating. The construction site needs to avoid high-density residential areas, schools and other urban crowded areas. The selected internal space needs to be easily partitioned, so facilitated frame structure or long-span structure public buildings with good fire protection conditions, such as convention and exhibition centers, stadiums, public housing, vacant dormitories, hotels, schools are more suitable for renovating. The floor plan, story height, structural form, water supply and drainage, power supply and distribution of site should be able to meet the hospital functioning requirements.


The Allocation of 13 Fangcang Shelter Hospitals in Wuhan  (by 5:00 am, 5 Feb, 2020); Source:Internet

One of the fangcang hospitals is renovated from a super large-scale urban cultural complex in Wuhan - China Culture Expo Center. Certain parts for renovating are including outdoor municipal facilities, sewage treatment facilities, building internal partitions, building internal facilities, external traffic passages, inward and outward transportation passages for personnel and materials, adjacent environment protection and improvement, sanitary and epidemic prevention, biological safety and other safety protections.

The Allocation of 13 Fangcang Shelter Hospitals in Wuhan  (by 5:00 am, 5 Feb, 2020); Source:Internet

The designers prioritized the demolition plan of the internal facilities and did clear up. According to medical treatment facility demand, the floor plan follows "three zones and two access" (three zones including polluted, semi-polluted and clean zones; two access are including staff and patient access). The hall 1 - 3 of the expo center will be renovated into temporary wards. The bed area in the 3 halls are classified and equipped with necessary medical and living facilities. Each bed is arranged orderly for reasonably using the limited space. Each zone includes less than 42 beds layout. Two evacuation exits set in each zone, as well as power supply, partitions, and temporary toilets.

Also, the solutions for medical sanitation process and the flow path of the staff access (entry process: from first change, second change to buffer room; return process: from buffer room, foundation wear change, protection wear change and uniform change, shower room and dressing room) are provided to ensure the safety of each staff.


Construction Site; Source: Internet

All new medical equipment needs to review the original floor design or load, in case some parts needs to be reinforced or replaced. There are 100 mobile toilets outside the hall for waste and drainage collecting, processing and emission. Domestic water is supplied and drained through special pipelines after filtering and testing. Contaminated and semi-polluted areas are equipped with natural or mechanical ventilation. Air purification and disinfection devices are added to centralized air conditioning systems in polluted and semi-polluted areas.

The on-site construction adopted an integrated process of design, procurement, construction and inspection. With joint support from all each sections, the whole project is believed to open for service as soon as possible.  

The GUIDELINES below are for the renovation and new build of medical facilities during 2019-nCoV suffering.

"Guidelines for the Design for 2019-nCov Emergency Treatment Facilities (Trial)" by General Office of the National Health and Health Commission General Office - the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Issued on February 8, 2020

"Relevant Technical Requirements for the Design and Renovation of Fangcang Hospital" by Hubei Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Issued on February 6, 2020