Monash Medical Centre Modular Health Solution, Australia


Monash Medical Centre Modular Health Solution, Australia

Temporary expansion of the emergency department at Melbourne’s Monash Medical Centre

  • Aurecon’s role: Project management, superintendent, building services engineering
  • Client: Monash Health
  • Project team: fire engineer, Norman Disney Young; contractor, Erilyan Projects; modular units, Spacecube

Aurecon designs and delivers additional accommodation to treat and isolate patients presenting with symptoms of coronavirus.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne’s Monash Medical Centre Emergency Department required additional accommodation to treat and isolate patients presenting with symptoms.

As the existing Emergency Department at Clayton is undergoing a major reconfiguration and expansion, it wasn’t possible for the Hospital to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic by converting existing operational areas into isolation and resuscitation bays.

Aurecon was engaged by Monash Health to provide project management and superintendent services to construct a temporary resuscitation unit for the Monash Medical Centre. The project expanded Monash Health’s resuscitation capacity, enabling quarantining of critically ill patients.

Remaining flexible and adaptable

Aurecon designed and managed the temporary unit using 26 prefabricated modules. The project was delivered within an extremely tight program of approximately five weeks (including a three-week site fit-out period). The project was delivered in parallel to developing guidelines and standards by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services for temporary COVID-19 response facilities. The design and project management required a high degree of flexibility to meet changing legislation.

Aurecon’s building services engineers responded quickly to develop ventilation, electrical, fire protection and hydraulic design solutions to meet the critical clinical and functional requirements of the unit – including containment via negatively pressured ventilation and HEPA filtration of exhaust from each bed bay.

Aurecon worked closely with the managing contractor, and trade contractors, to ensure that engineering systems could be procured and installed to meet the challenging three-week site fit-out period. The resuscitation unit contains medical gas, suction and oxygen, all linked back to the existing emergency department infrastructure to ensure dependable supplies despite being a temporary solution. The second storey of the unit includes employee amenities.

Prefabricated design for swift construction

The prefabricated modules were craned into position during a 15-hour work period to minimise the operational impact on Monash Health. The ready-made units meant that the construction team didn’t have to design a building envelop, instead focusing on services and infection-resistant finishes, to satisfy the strict requirements around infection control.

The fit-out is a fully equipped facility with six resuscitation bays where patients can be ventilated and stabilised prior to transfer to an in-patient or intensive care unit.

One fit-out challenge was sourcing medical services panels for each bed, as typically their lead time exceeds the project’s construction timeframe. The project team designed a custom services panel and had them manufactured locally, to fit within the construction timeframe. They also provided a solution to conceal the surface mounted-medical gas, oxygen, suction, nurse call, power and data.

Aurecon’s on-site presence ensured clear communication was always maintained with all stakeholders, and that expectations and activities were understood by everyone, working to resolve issues as they arose to ensure the program could be maintained.

The rapid pace at which the project moved, meant Aurecon had to exercise a high level of diligence to make sure all documentation was aligned for certification and handover within Monash Health’s required program.

The project, completed in May 2020, was a success due to the drive and ambition of each contributing stakeholder (client, contractor, design team and project management team) to think outside the normal processes of hospital design, in order to meet the short program and a response to the community requirements.

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