Case Study

Macau Island Hospital Designing a Flexible Hospital that Can Adapt to Pandemic Situations

Macau, SAR

The Challenge

The Macau Health Bureau in 2014 asked HKS to design a new hospital there that could  accommodate mass casualty situations resulting from a pandemic or disaster, while still maintaining the normal daily operations of the hospital.

The Design Solution

During a mass casualty or contagious outbreak, the hospital’s Emergency Department can be divided into multiple zones. These zones can be incrementally isolated to prevent cross-infections and ease confusion for patients and staff. During this period, the AGV Supply and Soiled Service Elevators will be temporarily quarantined for isolation of infectious patient movement from the Emergency Department to the Isolated Emergency Observation Floors above. By doing this, the rest of the Emergency Department can operate normally.

While providing flexibility to convert patient care areas to negative pressure zones during mass quarantine or pandemic events is crucial, operating these areas with full exhaust during normal operations would unnecessarily increase the energy required to condition the necessary extra outside air. By using strategically placed dampers and direct digital controls, energy can be conserved and the isolated areas can still be converted to negative pressure with minimal effort or disruption.

The Emergency drop-off area is also specially designed to convert into a temporary triage area and separate decontamination zone to treat large groups of potentially contagious or contaminated patients. Features include structural davit connections or permanent ceiling mounted tracks to accommodate temporary fabric partitions or curtains, strategically located hose bibs with shower heads for decontamination of patients, and trench drains with dedicated plumbing diverted for decontamination.

The Design Impact

The Macau Island Hospital bridges the gap between private and public health care services while providing citizens of Macau a full range of health services. It has also paved the way for similar endeavors as the Macau Health Bureau has approached HKS for consultation and design of Macau’s existing and future health facilities, including the design of a new university hospital.

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Project Features

  • 7-building complex that includes staff apartments and nursing
  • 167,225 sqm (1.8 million sf), 1,050-bed public hospital
  • Staff apartments
  • Emergency Department
  • Neurology services
  • Oncology services
  • Heart surgery/interventional cardiology services
  • Women’s/infant’s services
  • In vitro fertilization
  • 300-bed rehabilitation hospital
  • Training and research public health laboratory
  • Central blood donation center
  • Expandable/convertible exterior space
  • Mass casualty decontamination design solutions
  • Dedicated patient transfer elevators
  • Emergency observation unit conversion to pandemic isolation floors