COVID-19 – Ideation & Response – A proposal by Team Thumbimpressions

COVID-19 – Ideation & Response – A proposal by Team Thumbimpressions

COVID-19 – Ideation & ResponseA proposal by Team Thumbimpressions


This is visualized as an open source document. Anyone can use, modify and add to this based on their need. The ‘Team Thumbimpressions’ does not claim any rights over it. A collective response through cooperation, collaboration and coordination is a way forward.

Proposal for Temporary Hospital


The Thumbimpressions Team has prepared an immediate proposal for a temporary hospital based on its competencies that it can offer in this moment of crisis. The team would be keen to help the government and any other organization working or keen to work in this area. There are three proposals which form the basis of our suggestions and each of them are valid depending on the resource and direction our government suggests to move in during this crisis.They areas follows:

  1. Adaptation of existing buildings to hospitals
  2. Adaptation of already existing exhibition large span structures to hospitals
  3. Design of temporary hospitals

We are willing to support in all three situations.

Design of temporary hospital


The temporary hospital is imagined to be a stage where the capacity of the existing health care infrastructure is exhausted and the number of patients is far beyond the number of hospital beds. In such a grave situation; the assumption has been made that the existing hospital and their doctors will still remain the nodal point from where the rest of the patients will be treated. The existing hospital will therefore need extension.This will ensure that the patients are still able to use the existing facility of the hospital. Also for doctors; it would be better to take care of the patients in their proximity.

The temporary hospital needs to be erected in open space around the existing hospital including the parking facility (open space). Some minor existing roads connecting the hospital may be converted into an extended hospital using a temporary structure. The other option could be to readapt some buildings around the hospital and convert them into temporary hospitals.

Key Words: Ease of assembly and disassembly, Contextual use of materials, Easy to clean and maintain, COVID-19, temporary structures, emergency response.


The temporary hospital rests on three ideas, namely; contextual use of skills, ease of assembly and easy to replace, clean and maintain

Contextual use of skills

The proposal uses existing pools of skills related to fabrication, masonry and carpentry in order to assemble the building. This is meant to ease dependence on any specialized skills or labour to build which ensures replicable and further modification based on availability of such skills.

Ease of Assembly

The system adapted to the building uses scaffoldings (eg. Cup-lock systems, pipe & swivel clamp systems) which are used by shuttering contractors in the market. In case it is not available in large quantities, the design shall easily adapt to bamboo by merely replacing one material with another and simple modification of details.

The joinery techniques for both the structural materials are simple and shall require rudimentary skills to erect it. Later, the structure can be dismantled and reused.

Easy to replace clean and maintain

The enclosing materials are selected to replace whenever required based on the direction of the medical team. There are three options proposed: The partition between each bed has a provision of putting medical curtains. All the wiring and services are worked out in exposed conditions. The floors can be temporarily made out of vinyl sheet or equivalent material laid over paver blocks gives a continuous joint free cleanable surface.


The overall layout of the building is flexible and can adapt to various site situation. The building unit is made out of a medical volume with two layers of corridor, a medical room for doctors and other staff and a semi open space cum waiting area. These three units can be organized in various combinations for the desired building.

Implementation strategy

The overall implementation procedure and strategy would be governed by the level of cooperation and collaboration by various agencies in the process. It is assumed that the state/centre level ministry would provide all necessary permissions and order directives to mentioned agencies and also aid in ease of functioning along with medical professionals, police personnel, municipal corporators, and various transport agencies.

Areas in which possible expertise can be applied

Duration Tasks Implementation Remarks
Short Term (until the epidemic is eradicated) Design of temporary facilities Easy to assemble, contextual; instead of universal design for ease of execution Design and build temporary quarantine facility, Readapting available infrastructure into medical facility. Fire department can collaborate and implement fire and other hazard safety protocols.
Ward level data collection and preparation of optimum capacity of each ward to hold minor cases of medical attention and optimum essential supply Prepare and train data feeding using app. For volunteered geographic information. Feeding travel history, Availability of possible already existing infrastructure to be adapted as medical facility, Data for number of medical, milk and grocery shops. Also strategic locations for delivery and dispatch of necessary medical and technical supplies.
Identifying urban centers/ points of spread of the disease which bring people into contact in large numbers- to rethink how those services can be decentralized further. Proposal of location of essential supplies and services to reduce overcrowding Cordon off and work out an online delivery system or direct order on a dedicated contact for meeting essential services. Creation of temporary localised supply chain using mobile grocery stores Delivery boys from online food delivery platforms can be pulled in to form a larger well reaching network. Already caters to individual orders. If organised well with good sanitisation protocols.
Prepare network diagram of capacity of various ward to monitor flow of goods and services Temporary App based tracking of flow of goods and services Wards wise citizens helpline for redressal Private Transport agencies and local state government buses to be pulled in and formed into teams of hierarchy. Buses, Trucks, semi-trucks, rickshaws to allow dissemination of goods and reach out to the smallest of lanes.
Work from home All work that doesn’t require direct meetings ought to go for work from home. Only essential staff on a rotation basis should go to the office. Ensure very low density at work place to maintain sufficient social distancing
Rotation based opening of retail activities Broad categorization of retail and services to ensure once a week opening for receiving orders Entry and exit to a store not shall not be more than 30 minutes for the customers with limited entry at a time to ensure social distancing Ensuring order placement on weekdays unless scope for receiving order online. Rest of the days only may be used for production or delivery
Long term (within the year after the pandemic is eradicated) Develop a curriculum that rein forms the relevance of healthcare systems as a central focus in design of cities. Interpretation of health and hygiene concerns as part of courses Planning of the city is supposed to ensure healthy physical and mental living conditions both inside and outside the building
Larger and active role of built form professionals in governance of cities specific to research and design implementation Interdisciplinary research – architects and programmers; architects and medical scientists; city planners and medical scientists City requires interconnected and interdependent knowledge to be mapped for its healthy functioning Role of university and research organization can be utilized
Collection and preparation of data and develop it into a network interface and modeling for use of citizens and policy makers Use of GIS and other spatial analysis tools Dovetail into existing government surveys. Ensuring the public participation through digital platform for data creation
Some level of proposal or blueprint to analyze autonomy of each state to produce essential services to respond to future calamity Real time data of essential goods on a state level digital spatial map   Recalibrating quantity and capacity to stock and distribute

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