Dan: We had just finished schematic design when COVID hit and Massachusetts became a hotspot.
People without insurance with COVID-19 symptoms and the homeless had nowhere to go for testing, treatment or for isolation during recovery. The authorities decided to resurrect the Newton Pavilion as a field hospital, but the place had been unoccupied for close to two years. We were part of the team involved in transforming it into the Massachusetts State Hospital, serving the local population and homeless people.
Fernand: We had 21 days to reactivate the building systems for emergency temporary occupancy.
Once the spaces capable of accommodating beds for treatment and isolation had been identified, our WSP team evaluated what work was needed to fix the dormant MEP and fire protection infrastructure.
We left no stone unturned – or un-sanitized – before the building was declared operational. A critical consideration was determining which of the existing air handling units could be reused to ensure air was cleaned and secured for patients and medical staff. We realigned the overall pressure differentials between occupied and unoccupied spaces by adjusting air-handling units and exhaust fans. New parts and filters were installed, tested and balanced for air distribution and exhaust fans providing 100% fresh air in all occupied stations. We installed control software and appointed a qualified operator to ensure the functioning and maintenance of the system. We also confirmed that the steam-heating distribution was fully operational, checked valves at converter units and tested the chillers and pumps, making repairs where necessary. Water pipes, sprinkler systems, emergency lights, fire alarms, plumbing systems, sump pumps and IT networks were among the systems that were installed, cleaned, tested and approved.