Completion and handover of Hong Kong temporary hospital with support of Central Government
With the support of the Central Government, construction of the temporary hospital adjacent to the AsiaWorld-Expo, which is named “North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre”, has been successfully completed and handed over to the Hospital Authority (HA). I would like to express my gratitude again to the Central Government, the Guangdong Provincial Government, the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Wuhan experts for their support and guidance. My thanks also go to the project team and thousands of workers for their hard work around the clock to complete the construction of a new hospital from scratch in just four months. This time, I have specially invited Project Director of the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD), Mr LEUNG Kin-tak, Allen, to talk to us about the layout of the hospital, the design of the wards and the construction details.
Better equipped to fight epidemic
The completion and handover ceremony of the hospital project was held on the 20th of this month. The Chief Executive, Mrs LAM CHENG Yuet-ngor, Carrie, together with the Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr MA Xingrui; the Secretary of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee, Mr WANG Weizhong; the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr HUANG Liuquan; and the Director of the China State Construction International Holdings, Mr YAN Jianguo, jointly unveiled the plaque for the project. The Secretary for Food and Health, Professor CHAN Siu-chee, Sophia; the Chairman of the HA, Mr FAN Hung-ling, Henry; and the Chief Executive of the HA, Dr KO Pat-sing, Tony, also attended the ceremony. Currently, the HA is allocating medical equipment to the hospital and running various tests. The hospital is expected to be ready for operation in February to better equip Hong Kong in the fight against the epidemic.
Construction completed in four months on a tight schedule
The hospital project is a medical facility that the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region had sought assistance from the Central Government to build in July last year. During August and September, work was well underway with a lot of meetings held between Hong Kong’s ad hoc working group and the Shenzhen Municipal Government to discuss the implementation details. After both parties officially signed a collaboration agreement on 18 September, the challenging project was launched immediately the following day. Work related to the design, procurement, transportation and construction was all done on a tight schedule, with numerous challenges including the conversion of underground public facilities, relocation of bus stations, and impacts of the epidemic and adverse weather conditions encountered along the way. While it usually takes three to four years to build a general hospital, this hospital project was completed in just four months.
Providing 816 negative pressure beds
Despite being a “temporary hospital”, it is no different in scale from any of the existing general hospitals and has been designed and constructed to the standards of permanent buildings in Hong Kong. According to Project Director of the ArchSD, Mr Allen LEUNG, the hospital occupies a site area of about 30 000 square metres and has six two-storey Ward Blocks, providing a total of 816 negative pressure beds. The hospital also has a Central Medical Block with a pharmacy and laboratories that can provide nucleic acid testing services. Furthermore, there is an E&M Block as well as other ancillary medical facilities, including a liquid oxygen tank with a capacity of 11 000 litres which is able to supply oxygen for five to eight consecutive days.
Adoption of Modular Integrated Construction technology
The rapid completion of the project was not only attributed to the hard work of the contractor and workers, but also to the project team’s adoption of the Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) technology according to site-specific considerations. Mr Allen LEUNG says that MiC adopts the concept of “factory assembly followed by on-site installation”, where the hospital was divided into various modules, commonly known as “boxes”. For example, a ward was composed of three boxes. The boxes were prefabricated in a Mainland factory with their interior fittings and fixtures assembled and their airtight test passed before transportation to the site for installation. This can significantly reduce the number of site workers, shorten the construction time, facilitate quality control, expedite the completion of the acceptance procedure and enhance site safety.
Ensuring the highest level of hygienic safety
In order to fight the epidemic, the layout of the hospital and construction of the wards have been stringently designed to ensure the highest level of hygienic safety. Mr Allen LEUNG says that the overall hospital layout is based on the idea of separating the healthcare staff and patients, i.e. the central corridors of the six blocks are reserved for delivery of clean supplies and access by healthcare staff while medical waste is taken away through the outside corridors to minimise the risk of infection. In addition, each ward is constructed in accordance with the specifications of a standard negative pressure isolation ward. For example, each ward has an anteroom at its entrance to serve as a buffer zone, so that the pressure of air will be gradually lowered when flowing from outside the ward to inside the ward via the anteroom to maintain unidirectional airflow for prevention of virus spread and reduction of cross-infection risk.
Patient-oriented design with heart
Each storey of a ward block is equipped with 72 beds and two nurse stations. The ancillary facilities of the nurse stations are no different from those in general hospitals. In terms of architectural design, Mr Allen LEUNG says that the façades of the hospital have been designed with a soft colour scheme with patterns intended to relieve the emotions of the patients. Given that two of the ward blocks are close to the MTR rails, the project team has specially retrofitted green noise barriers next to the blocks to prevent patients from being affected by the noise.
Together with the community treatment facility expansion completed in the AsiaWorld-Expo in early October last year, the Central Government has in total provided an extra of about 1 800 beds for Hong Kong to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, greatly increasing the resilience of the Hong Kong healthcare system against the epidemic and fully demonstrating the unity and concerted effort between the project team and staff members from Guangdong, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Central Government for supporting Hong Kong in combating the epidemic. I hope that the epidemic will be over soon and wish all of you good health.
31 January, 2021