China is well known for having the ability to fast track construction projects. In the city of Wuhan, (which is at the heart of the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak) Chinese authorities are on track to have a treatment hospital built in a record breaking six days from start to finish!
So you might be thinking.. how was it possible to complete a project of this scale so quickly? One factor was definitely the planning approvals. In an emergency situation the construction permits were bypassed, so earthmoving equipment started levelling the site from day one.
One of the time saving design features was that the hospital structure’s use of prefabricated shipping container like structures that are quickly stacked and joined together. The use of standard shipping container sizes of 20ft long x 8ft wide made delivery and placement of these structures an efficient process since existing intermodal transport equipment could be easily utilised. Mass production is also a specialty of China, particularly when it comes to fixed size units such as shipping containers that can be easily duplicated in multiple factories.
The first hospital, expected to open on Feb 3rd, 2020 is a 1,000 bed treatment facility named ‘Huoshenshan’. The second, a 1,600 bed hospital called ‘Leishenshan’ is expected to open two days later on Feb 5th.
Large scale shipping container construction projects continue to gain popularity worldwide. Work is already underway on the world’s first shipping container football stadium, the ‘Ras Abu Aboud’ stadium in Doha, Qatar. Another large scale project was the Holiday Inn Express Event City in Manchester, UK. The 220 room hotel completed in 2017 was pre-fabricated in China, then shipped complete with full fixtures allowing final assembly time on site to be completed in just four weeks.