Students design portable clinics

In September, 2014, students of Master of Architecture, Texas A&M, unveiled the design concepts for portable, rapidly deployable Ebola virus treatment clinics that they had created, at the Langford Architecture Center.

“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa underscores the need for these inexpensive, easily erected modular facilities where patients inflicted with the Ebola virus or other infectious diseases can be treated while isolated from the general population,” said George J Mann, holder of the Skaggs Professorship in Health Facilities Design and director of the graduate architecture studio that undertook the project.

Students in Mann’s studio created eleven designs that could be easily shipped in a shipping container or a cargo plane, light enough to be airlifted by a helicopter, and simple enough to be assembled on the fly, in a parking lot or an open field.

One of the students, Soheil Hamideh, designed an Ebola ward made of a flexible, UV-resistant material that could be folded for compact shipping and then expanded, accordion-style, into long rectangular units to accommodate 48 patients.Another student, Qianqian Zhang, designed her units to resemble a network of geometric cells; the walls would be made from Polytetrafluoroethylene, a highly waterproof, lightweight synthetic material stretched over a simple beam structure with joining pieces, like a sophisticated hard-sided tent. The region’s hot, rainy weather is addressed in another student's design that employs a double shell exterior to minimise interior heat and a pitched roof for channeling heavy rainfall.

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