BDP is helping the UK national effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic with a key role in the unprecedented challenge of helping convert large event venues into emergency field hospitals.

Working under main contractor BAM, BDP is converting the 10,253m² Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire into a temporary 500 bed level three critical care field hospital for COVID-19 patients.

BDP is collaborating with clinicians, consultants, contractors and the British Army on site to deliver this emergency facility in phases. Phase 1 is due to finish this weekend.

The NHS Nightingale instruction manual published by BDP last week clearly displays its fit-out strategies and processes used at ExCel Centre and is providing invaluable guidance for the construction of other locations.

The key to the rapid progress of these types of projects is having a clear concept and a rigorous approach to procurement and construction speed and safety. To deliver this number of equipped beds in emergency conditions requires all teams to make rapid decisions so design and construction can take place in parallel.

At Harrogate, the exhibition halls vary in shape, size and location, requiring bed bay configuration plans and ward facilities to be adjusted for each floor. BDP clinical planners have been instrumental in tackling the challenges that this has presented. The British Army and BDP have also been sharing their expertise and knowledge of designing for effective infection control. The whole process has taken two weeks.

BDP, Architect Director Mihalis Walsh said “These hospitals are a result of exceptional collaboration in truly unprecedented circumstances. People are all too aware of the need for these projects to be completed in the time allocated and all of our teams have been working tirelessly to ensure that this happens. ”