A concept proposal for a comprehensive healthcare centre, Life CMF is built out of discarded shipping containers that are converted into healthcare pods. Containers are modified to form four different
pod types based on the location of doors and windows. The pods are customised to adapt to several functions, including screening, lab testing, diagnostics, treatment, isolation, and consultation. The pods are assembled to create a community facility that can grow and expand as per evolving requirements.
The pods can be airlifted and deployed to different regions making it an especially effective healthcare solution for emergency situations including disaster-struck regions and war zones.
Product: Life CMF (Community Medical Facility)
Firm: Architecture Discipline
Design Team: Amit Gupta, Himanshu Chopra, Pankaj Kumar, Akshat Bhatt
“The pandemic has brought to light the current inefficacy and inadequacy of medical infrastructures across the world, and stirred a debate on the larger question that emerges with regards to attitudes to healthcare, especially primary health care in the post-pandemic future. Healthcare systems in countries around the world have been overwhelmed fighting the pandemic forcing governments to build temporary hospitals to help deal with the growing numbers of their infected population.” Akshat Bhatt, Principal Architect
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines primary healthcare as “a whole-of-society approach to health and well-being centered on the needs and preferences of individuals, families, and communities.” “Primary healthcare,” the WHO explains, “ensures people receive comprehensive care—ranging from promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care—as close as feasible to people’s everyday environment.”
Reflecting on the present health care model in our country, it’s an easy realisation that the primary healthcare services are fairly inconsistent and while no country in the world can actually be fully prepared to handle an emergency like this, the time is ripe to push the agenda and re-invigorate primary healthcare as a critical public service.
Life CMF is an initiative that is conceived to address prevailing disparities brought to light
by the current crisis aimed at ensuring accessibility, immediacy of care, economical deployability, affordability, and a socially-integrative approach to health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. By using shipping containers as structural units, it revolutionizes the speed of construction, opens up newer avenues for recycling and expands the availability of healthcare from cities to towns and villages and to all segments of our population.
LIFE CMF is modelled to provide community-oriented and patient-directed installation; to deliver comprehensive and high-quality primary health care services while eliminating economic, geographic and cultural barriers.
Modular and Flexible:
LIFE CMF is delivered as prefabricated, ready to operate pods that are modular and expandable to cater to various needs. Each pod is flexible to be configured singularly or in combination of two or more containers to function as a primary care unit, critical care unit, surgical suite, trauma/emergency unit, isolation or recovery pod and support functions such as pharma unit, screening unit, or diagnostic labs, or any other medical as well as administrative space as needed by the clients.
Adaptable and Durable:
Since the pods are made from steel shipping containers with R-19 insulation and temperature control devices, they can withstand extreme weather conditions, earthquakes, harsh terrain and security threats.
Ease of Installation During Emergencies:
The use of containers as a structural element allows the CMFs to be easily deployed anywhere in the world, even remote regions. With the clinic already assembled within the container they can be operational within days of deployment, thus being able to set up emergency care facilities for
COVID-19 patients and primary healthcare centres. It can be set upon a site measuring as small as 96’ x 96’ and can be completely dismantled and moved to a different place for reuse.
MODELS AND VARIANTS:
CMF allows full spatial flexibility and scaling up, its units can be clubbed together to house various functions and can be deployed to any place in the world with the clinic already assembled within the container. Currently we have envisaged more than 14 spatial arrangements possible within the units from single patient care to staff quarters to the administrative support areas. These could be further modified as per requirements. We also have 2 cluster variants; the white variant to function as the
neighbourhood health facility and the green variant which is specific for deployment in the emergency zones-affected by natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, warzones, refugee settlements. Containers are ideal because of their inherent strength, easy transportation and deployability, and relatively low cost. The facility can be operational within days after deployment making it ideal for timely mitigation during such unexpected calamities.
The pod modules are customized to adapt to the various functions that are integral to a primary community medical facility. Each pod is flexible to be configured singularly or in combination of two or more containers to function as a primary care unit to critical care including everything from a surgical suite to diagnostic labs. The interiors of the Life pods adhere to all healthcare standards, the finishes and material palette is of optimum hospital grade. They are lined with R-19 insulation combined with temperature control devices to function comfortably even in extreme conditions and are provided with a shaft to allow services ingress and egress. In addition, they are fitted with bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal solutions. The LED lighting and air-conditioning systems used
are all rated Green Technology, utilizing the sun as a renewable energy source.