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Prompt Action Results in Patient Space to Address any Subsequent Waves of COVID-19

Infrastructure Ontario and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre collaborated to construct a regional Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) as a temporary addition to the existing hospital site in Barrie, ON.

The Barrie site was selected as part of Infrastructure Ontario’s initiative to help the region’s hospitals meet capacity and medical service demands resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly-built 13,760-square-foot Sprung structure will provide a semi-permanent, year-round space to support patient treatment in cases where area hospitals are over-capacity or facing a resurgence of COVID-19. As an extension of the hospital, the unit is equipped with medical equipment, air filtration and ventilation systems to minimize risks of airborne diseases. The structure consists of:

  • a fully equipped and insulated 70-bed main patient care area
  • a separate washroom area complete with a shower, storage and connecting corridors to the main patient care area
  • an enclosed walkway that connects the main patient care area to the main hospital building

Ensuring Operation of the PRU through the Winter Months

As the unit was originally envisioned as a temporary structure, its initial design did not include the environmental controls necessary for the facility to provide services through the winter months. However, stakeholders made the decision to maintain the PRU to help with any patient overflow or subsequent waves of COVID-19 during the flu season. The team moved quickly to make the design changes needed to insulate and accommodate heating and cooling systems for year-round operation. This design change required clear communication among all parties, as well as detailed coordination of all design enhancements, construction activity and supply orders.

Implementing the Critical Design Change

Infrastructure Ontario engaged Colliers Project Leaders to provide overall project management services for the temporary medical facility. Our project managers provided coordination and a high level of communication to multiple stakeholders, while managing each detail of the project from planning and procurement, through to design, construction and substantial completion – in just nine weeks. In addition, our team provided planning and procurement services for all furniture, fixtures and medical equipment in collaboration with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre representatives.

Given the aggressive project schedule, it was important to obtain design consensus and approvals early in the process to avoid any unnecessary delays or disruptions. Our team planned stakeholder engagement and coordinated and managed communications with stakeholders, consultants and the construction team to ensure alignment of all deliverables. In addition, our team managed the sourcing and purchase of medical equipment in the early stages, while also monitoring, receiving and recording all medical equipment deliveries required to see the project through to completion.

A New Health Unit Equipped to Meet the Region’s Healthcare Needs

The construction of the new health unit will leave the region well-equipped to handle any future influxes of patients. Reaching substantial completion on June 26, 2020, the Sprung structure will not only provide a timely and compliant solution for the region’s healthcare needs, but will also ensure future flexibility, as the structure can be dismantled, stored and redeployed as needed to address patient overflow. The structure is scheduled to begin operation pending approval from the Ministry of Health.

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