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COVID-19 update: CallisonRTKL, Patriot, PODS, and USACE collaborate on repurposed containers for ACFs

Existing PODS containers were modified to be used as rapid response airborne infection isolation rooms. 

April 21, 2020 |
ACF units modified from existing modular pods

ACF units modified from existing modular containers. Photo: PODS.

CallisonRTKL worked with the facilities and infrastructure firm Patriot in a collaborative process on a design-build project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This project uses PODS to develop containers that can be repurposed into isolation units for alternative healthcare facilities treating coronavirus-positive patients.

Modifications to existing PODS containers were made to be used as a rapid response airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) and designed to enhance Healthcare Personnel (HCP) protection during care of infectious patients. Some of the design features implemented to limit HCP exposure:

  • Isolation: Patients are isolated in an enclosed space, limiting to HCPs outside of the immediate patient care space.
  • Transparency: The front wall of the container is designed with a full-glass door and sidelights to provide maximum patient visibility.
  • Sanitation: Seamless flooring with cove base is installed to facilitate proper housekeeping and surface disinfection.
  • Lighting: Multiple levels of lighting within the container haS been provided for patient comfort. Overbed lighting is provided for routine daytime settings with supplemental ceiling-mounted exam lighting and wall-mounted night lights.
  • HVAC: HVAC systems are designed to provide horizontal air flow, introducing air from the front of the container and discharging air directly behind the patient at the rear of the container.
  • Ease of Installation: Each container has individual electrical panels and condenser units mounted to the back of the container to simplify installation and commissioning of units within an alternate care site.



PODS modified unit for ACF

According to PODS, USACE developed, tested, and approved the conversion of PODS 12-foot and 16-foot containers into self-contained rooms with hospital beds that can be used for COVID-19 positive patients.

  • Washable walls and floor cover per CDC guidelines
  • Emergency back-up power
  • Electrical and data outlets
  • Exhaust fan with HEPA filtering
  • Louver with gravity damper and balancing damper
  • Modified isolation room entry door with direct line-of-sight visibility of patient
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