Architects Design Shipping Container-Made ICUs For COVID-19 TreatmentAdd to Lightbox Download
Italian architects have designed an intensive-care pod within a shipping container that could be added to hospitals fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Named Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments – or CURA, which is the latin word for cure – the intensive care unit (ICU) pods have been designed to increase the country's intensive care capacity.
"The aim is that they can be quickly deployed in cities around the world, promptly responding to the shortage of ICU space in hospitals and the spread of the disease," explained the CURA team.
The first prototype unit is being built at a hospital in Milan, which is one of the cities in Italy with the most cases of coronavirus Covid-19.
The units have been designed by Italian architecture studio Carlo Ratti Associati and architect Italo Rota as part of a development team including engineering studio Jacobs and digital studio Squint/Opera, which created the video explaining the concept.
The idea is to create temporary structures that could be deployed rapidly, like traditional hospital tents, but with a high level of biocontainment to prevent the spread of the virus.
Built within repurposed 6.1-metre-long shipping containers, the units would feature a ventilation system that generates negative pressure inside, a common technique used in hospitals and laboratories to prevent contaminated air from escaping.
The designers say the units have been designed to comply with Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) standards.
"The units could be as fast to mount as a hospital tent, but as safe as an isolation ward, thanks to biocontainment with negative pressure," said the CURA team.
Each of the biocontainment units would contain all the medical equipment needed to support two coronavirus Covid-19 intensive-care patients. Each could work as a single unit, or be connected by an inflatable structure in various configurations to create larger, multi-bed setups.
The designers envision the units being set up alongside exist
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