Abstract Building

AI Film Award WINNER

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: MAKING SAFER EMERGENCY HOSPITALS

CineTecture Ltd.

The coronavirus pandemic is stressing bed space capacity in hospitals globally. Healthcare authorities are attempting to add thousands of additional bed spaces by temporarily adapting any available large open halls. However, large air-conditioned halls tend to have top-down air-conditioning, which creates turbulent flows that can mix and spread droplets containing the virus very widely. At six changes of the air in the occupied part of the hall in an hour, it may take over 20 minutes to dilute the concentration of smaller droplets produced in a cough to below a tenth of their original density.

In an urgent response call to intervene in the current Covid-19 pandemic, Cambridge University researchers have developed a series of practical solutions to reduce the concentration of airborne virus experienced by patients and healthcare workers in buildings converted into makeshift hospitals, that are appearing rapidly in the wake of the Corona Virus crisis all over the world. The design proposals involve relatively low-tech and low-carbon adaptations to ventilation systems and ward configuration, and are relevant for use in the UK and overseas.

The documentary is used to inform Health Authorities and governments world-wide. Prof Alan Short’s and Prof Andrew Woods’ principles are currently implemented in one location in India. While the project was first conceived with a focus on this geographic location, the last couple of weeks have shown that their work is relevant globally, with Africa and South America potential further ODA countries that could make use of the research findings. The developed viable low energy ventilation models for converted spaces will work in many other climate regions from Temperate Northwest to the Mediterranean, from Continental climates in China and central India to the Mid-West of North America, Canada and marine coastal climates globally. The film is available with subtitles in several languages; including Hindu, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Polish, German and French (African countries) to increase global reach.


The film has been put forward to SAGE and the WHO as a guide for converting large air-conditioned spaces into emergency hospitals.

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