Treanor Teams Up with World Health Organization

Addressing hospital overflow in underdeveloped countries during COVID-19

Treanor’s Health studio has teamed up with the World Health Organization (WHO) to design a temporary prefabricated screening facility in Haiti in response to the global pandemic COVID-19. This facility can be placed at the entrances of multiple hospitals throughout the country.

Treanor began working with Mazzetti and the World Health Organization’s Techne program (previously known as the Help Desk) in May of 2021. The directive was to design a prototype for a temporary rapid response center for COVID-19 triage and treatment that could be placed adjacent to undetermined (at that time) hospital sites.

Since March, hospitals globally have struggled to keep up with patient needs and numbers. Resources such as PPE were scarce for underdeveloped countries such as Haiti. This, combined with the complexity of how quickly viral infections spread, has created a need for programs such as Techne to recruit professionals with the background and experience to develop solutions—and fast.

This rapid response design effort included Treanor team members Steve Carr, Roger Quelch, and Ken Bailey, working in partnership with Mazzetti. The team put together a collective 100+ years of healthcare facility architecture and design experience to provide a solution—and they had one week to do it.

“Once we accepted the opportunity and were given the required program, we had two days to respond with a design layout that could accommodate their anticipated numbers of patients,” Steve says. “Our solution needed to take into account the requirements for separation of staff from potentially infected individuals and the separation of those individuals from each other while they were being triaged.”

Together, the team developed a screening facility design and recommended staff and patient flows, along with recommendations for mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire protection systems. The facility is designed to include:

  • UNHRD prefabricated modular units manufactured by Edilsider Modular Housing
  • Check-in area
  • Triage
  • Self-contained isolation rooms with toilets
  • Male and female toilet rooms
  • Donning and doffing rooms
  • Perimeter fencing around the facility

Two alternate layouts were presented with a waiting room for 10, 20, and 50 occupants. The flexible capabilities of this design solution are made possible by the prefabricated modules, which can be easily site assembled and used individually or combined into larger enclosed and conditioned spaces. The arrangement of these modules serves the flow of patients, and a larger overhead shade structure will be provided for unconditioned waiting areas to help maintain physical distance.

Observing the crisis that COVID-19 has created in the United States and around the world, along with the ongoing challenges this has produced, it has been very gratifying knowing that I have had a very small part in helping others.

Roger Quelch, Architect at Treanor

Facilities such as these are integral to not only the patients in Haiti, but also the already limited number of healthcare workers staffing these healthcare facilities. While proper space design fulfills one fraction of a comprehensive gap in aid to these underserved countries—it can help save lives. When Treanor was contacted to help, it became a personal mission for the designers.

We look forward to more opportunities to work with the World Health Organization to help provide care to people around the world. For more information about the WHO’s COVID-19 relief initiatives, as well as donation information, click here.

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