When colleagues at Mazzetti asked LS3P to join an effort led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering (IFHE), we were honored and humbled by the opportunity to help. The directive was to present strategies for circulation, social distancing, PPE, and ventilation for an existing healthcare facility in Dedougou, Burkina Faso to prepare for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. The urgency of the situation was reflected in the ambitious timeline- eight days from kickoff meeting to final draft.

In a natural disaster, maintaining hospital function is critical to an effective response. For several years now, LS3P, a regional architecture, interiors, and planning firm with eight offices in the Southeast, has been working with hospitals and other critical infrastructure to bolster Resiliency Preparedness plans. The strategies which emerged from these plans focused on rapid recovery after hurricanes, floods, or snowstorms. Suggestions typically involved hardened HVAC systems in strategic locations; bolstered IT systems; hurricane resistant exterior wall, window, and roof systems; and so forth. Then COVID-19 hit.