Innovation – Healthcare

Innovation – Healthcare


Congratulations to Stantec Architecture as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award in Healthcare.

With the onset of the 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic sweeping the country, the City of Chicago Department of Public Health knew they needed to act fast to accommodate the escalating numbers of in-patient admittance. The United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), in association with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), directed the conversion of McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois into an Alternate Care Facility (ACF) for COVID-19 patients. The roughly 1.5 million SF ACF was designed to relieve pressure on the regional hospital system by freeing up beds for more patients with severe COVID-19 cases in anticipation of the surge in positive COVID-19 diagnoses to come. The strategic goal was to create this environment with minimal impact to the existing convention center, while maintaining compliance with the USACE Project Work Statement Goals to ensure safety for the staff and patients.

The goal was to build a 3,000 bed Alternate Care Site in one month. Exhibition Hall A and Hall C would support 2,250 low-acuity patients and Hall B would support 750 beds for moderate-acuity patients that require oxygen. Within one week, the first 500 beds were complete in Hall C with another 1,750 non-acute beds following in Hall A. This quick turnaround of beds was made possible with prefabricated design using Aluminum Framing and Panel system for low-acuity patients and tents for moderate acuity patients.

The moderate-acuity Hall B units were arranged with a central nurse station surrounded by 15 patient isolation tents. The team used scaffolding in a unique manner to support the duct work, piping and conduits for medical gas, HVAC and the electrical and mechanical connections necessary to feed air, electric and medical gas to each tent.

The Halls also had rooms built for pharmacy, equipment and supply storage and Housekeeping. Toilet rooms were existing in each of the halls but portable patient showers were brought in for use.

Project Team:

  • Army Corp of Engineers: Project Management
  • Walsh Construction: Contractor
  • Stantec Architecture: Architecture, Engineering, Programming, Medical Planning, Resilient Design
  • ESD: MEP Engineering
  • Thornton Tomasetti: Structural Engineering