The healthcare design industry is on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, responding to myriad needs tied to the built environment to ensure patients can be tested and treated effectively.

Healthcare Design turned to its esteemed Editorial Advisory Board members and other leaders for an inside look at how they’re responding to the crisis. In this ongoing web series, we’ll share what we hear, as we hear it—the challenges you’re all up against and the solutions being put into place.

In these “Notes from the Field,” you’ll find an industry diving in to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly disseminating ideas to help others manage similar scenarios.

Randy Keiser, vice president & national healthcare director, Turner Construction (Nashville)

Construction related items we are planning to do, or have already done, for U.S. hospitals concerning COVID-19:

  • Create negative-air hospital patient rooms (technically not an isolation room). Rebalancing the air to be negative to the hallway, creating a negative air room. This work includes in some cases air handling unit modifications, rebalancing, controls work, and creating a drywall ceiling in the patient room to reduce chance of bringing unclean air/particles from above the ceiling into the patient room.
  • Construction trailer set up inside parking garage to house staff for the drive-through testing facility. Including supply storage and changing rooms.
  • Make use of new technology using needlepoint bi-polar ionization (a virus-killing system) that’s easily installed into existing HVAC systems. Similar to UV lights, this will kill viruses, including coronavirus; however, the process to prove it is indeed effective on COVID-19 is currently underway.
  • Separate construction workers from the rest of the hospital by cutting exterior entrance (taking exterior windows out, etc.) to allow workers direct access into their work area, therefore not mixing staff and patients with the construction workers. Also, not allowing workers to eat in hospital café, etc.
  • Conduct health screenings of construction workers prior to allowing them onto the jobsite.
  • Tent for a walk-up testing facility, includes antieroom into main tent, restroom trailer, generator, lights, etc. Also includes a trailer for supplies and changing rooms for staff.
  • Screening area (tent or similar) to screen hospital staff, visitors, and patients prior to entering the hospital. Exact details still in planning.

If you have insight you’d like to share in this format, email Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Kovacs Silvis at