Monash Medical Centre Clayton - Temporary Resus Isolation WardMelbourne, Australia

With COVID-19 plunging Victoria into a state of emergency from early 2020, healthcare facilities were quick to focus on their preparedness and response to the pandemic. Monash Health immediately recognised the urgent need to expand their front line capacity, providing additional ICU beds to treat potential COVID-19 patients and save Victorian lives.

An expansion of Monash Health’s resuscitation room capacity was commissioned, with a brief to design, develop and deliver Australia’s first COVID-19 RESUS Medical Facility. The project was approved within 3 days and utilising Spacecube, a flat-packable modular building system, the temporary building was constructed in just 15 hours.

NDY’s fire engineering design solutions enabled the building to be located less than 3 metres from adjacent buildings without additional fire rating. Our design permitted use of sliding doors in the ICU bays; the use of interconnected smoke alarms in lieu of the full detection system; and our team also assessed the omission of sprinklers as would normally be required by DHHS Capital Development Guidelines based on the building being temporary and highly managed by staff.

With no precedence of a similar building in Australia, delivered in less than a month and still requiring all relevant approvals, a revision of process was required. NDY contributed to the review of the DHHS Interim Practice Note for Temporary Buildings, which was developed and published as a result of this project.

A collaborative, responsive and flexible approach was essential. In unchartered territory due to the unfolding pandemic and with the temporary building under construction whilst the design was being finalised, the project ultimately delivered a 360 m², double storey portable building with six new specialist ICU beds and staff areas, enabling Monash Health to stand ready to assist the community and save lives in the future.

Watch Spacecube’s timelapse video of the build here:

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