Interior Architecture Student Creates COVID-19 Hybrid Treatment Model to Help Overcrowded Hospitals | News from the FIU


The United States’ healthcare system has been under tremendous pressure since the COVID-19 outbreak hit states earlier this year.

According to the American Hospital Association, the influx of critical patients has forced hospitals and the health system to adapt new operations to best fight the pandemic. Some of these transformations include the creation of field hospitals, the conversion of large centers, hotels, arenas or closed hospitals into care sites and the establishment of safe test sites.

Interior design student Njood Bokhari has found her own way to potentially help hospitals. Under the guidance of Newton D’Souza, chair of the interior design department and Arthur Brito, director of health and principal of HKS Architects, Bokhari presented a design proposal called CONT + AID to help relieve fast overwhelmed hospitals.

CONT + AID is a hybrid fabricated facility that serves as a COVID-19 testing station and laboratory facility – which hospitals can build directly on-site in as little as two to five days. The hybrid structure design leaves space for intensive care units, examination and treatment rooms, quarantine and isolation units, and even surge space for non-critical patients.

The design of the facility consists of 10ft sea containers and prefabricated expandable units. The setup of the structure is designed to be simple enough with minimal on-site preparation, so hospitals can build it quickly and efficiently, or even move it if the need arises.

Sea containers form the central staff corridors and six to eight prefabricated expandable units surround the staff area to accommodate patients. According to Bokhari, this setup helps limit the spread of infection and keep the different units isolated from each other.


“Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the healthcare system has been under review on how best to handle the situation,” Bokhari said. “To fight the pandemic, rapidly deployable health facilities are of major importance. “

Bokhari also implemented automatic sliding doors, sensors in high traffic areas, medical grade finishes on floors, walls and ceilings, the use of robotics in high exposure areas to eliminate l exposure of staff to patients, UV lights at exit and entry points to facilitate disinfection. and the integration of a CONT + AID mobile application in its design.

Every aspect of CONT + AID, from the construction of the walls to the laboratory equipment, is designed with the goal of providing easy and safe access to coronavirus testing, reducing the possible spread of infection, and expanding the scope of hospitals outside the standard clinical setting. to treat more patients.

“This new pandemic environment calls for designers to be quick to deliver flexible, secure and fast creative solutions,” explains D’Souza. “Njood’s proposal is a good example of an evidence-based design that addresses user well-being while integrating technology in a meaningful way. His sustainable use of existing resources and his ability to transform the building into different scenarios is what makes his project relevant for the times we live in today.


When designing the COVID-19 test station, one of the most important aspects that Bokhari believed was to be easily deployable and flexible. To achieve this, the shipping and prefabricated units can be easily folded, stacked and transported, allowing for quick installation and delivery. In addition, thanks to the flexibility of the hybrid structure, CONT + AID can be installed in open spaces, such as parking lots, just as easily as in closed areas such as an airport terminal.

In its proposal, Bokhari also includes the best practices that CONT + AID uses for walk-in and drive-through coronavirus testing to limit exposure; a visualization of the entire testing process; and setting up the CONT + AIDS mobile app – which allows patients to schedule appointments, view test results, and find doctors, locations, and the latest COVID-19 updates.


As coronavirus cases continue to rise, models like Bokhari’s could greatly help hospitals treat more patients safely.

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