The Biggest Feats of Civil Engineering
21 May 21
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The country is in a state of emergency. For the first time in history, people from all over the world are working together to try and overcome the coronavirus crisis and save lives. In the UK, the focus has been on trying to help our beloved NHS function as best as it possibly can.
The strain that the virus has been posing meant the nation was sent into lockdown to delay the number of people requiring medical attention. One solution to help the NHS was to transform the ExCel Centre in London into the NHS Nightingale Hospital to assist with patients suffering from COVID-19.
The tremendous efforts to build coronavirus-dedicated hospitals in China demonstrated that the enormous task was possible, but the right organisations needed to be hired to carry out the task. The NHS sent out a plea for engineers to head to London and help with the development. Multiple companies needed to come together to assist clinical engineers with tasks that would make this plan a national success.
The temporary internal construction was created in just under 14 days and required medical planning, logistics and engineering companies to work together seamlessly. Many military personnel were also crucial in the effort as they provided the labour, which is now ready to welcome hundreds of patients as they fight the disease. The capacity of the hospital currently sits at 500 but has the potential to expand to treat 4,000 patients.
As well as the work which helped change the ExCel Centre into a fully-functioning hospital, civil engineers worked around the clock to develop the area to suit its new purposes, including the car park and road accesses. Engineers raced to make sure the facility had a 2,000 space car park in just one week; this allowed more people on-site and increased productivity. The surrounding of the ExCel Centre now includes quick and easy road access for vehicles as well as a new ambulance bay ready to bring in critical patients.
The result of such a tremendous effort demonstrated how the British engineering industry could come together and achieve the seemingly impossible at incredible speed.
Since the success of the NHS Nightingale in London, engineers across the country have been assisting similar constructions. The NHS Nightingale style of engineering has been replicated across the country in cities such as Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.
These types of efforts are not only incredible to see, but imagine the job satisfaction by working on them. A vast team of engineers, bonding over one goal, to help rescue the NHS from an overcrowding disaster. It’s something many of our students have admired over the last few weeks and potential students have been inspired by. If this incredible national effort has inspired you, you can find out more about our engineering courses here.