Canberra’s COVID-19 surge facility wins Global Project Excellence Award 2020

Karyn Starmer 13 November 2020 9
Medical staff inside COVID-19 Surge Centre.

Aspen Medical built the award-winning 51-bed COVID-19 Surge Centre in Canberra in just 36 days Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Aspen Medical’s work to create Canberra’s temporary field hospital was recently awarded a silver medal at the 2020 International Project Management Association (IPMA) Awards. The COVID-19 Surge Centre, located beside Canberra Hospital on Garran Oval, was part of the ACT’s COVID-19 Response Plan, helping to boost capacity and enhance the territory’s ability to respond to the pandemic.

Aspen Medical built the 51-bed facility in just 36 days.

IPMA is the world’s oldest project management association and is based out of the Netherlands. The IPMA Award is given to projects across the globe that demonstrate project management excellence.

Aspen Medical infrastructure project director Matthew Gygi says the Canberra-based global health care provider had to design and construct the facility from scratch.

“There is no manual for a project such as this,” he said. “We were tasked to build a fully functional medical centre in a very short amount of time.”


READ MORE: Too soon to think about packing up COVID-19 ED, says Aspen Medical boss


With just seven days of design time and 36 days for construction, the facility was built with off-the-shelf and locally manufactured materials to meet the recommended requirements for COVID-19 care by the World Health Organization.

At its peak, there were 170 people working on the project, compressing 23,340 man hours into 36 days. At the same time, the Aspen Medical team had to design standard operating for the medical facility, find staff and be ready to be fully operational from day one.

The COVID-19 Surge Centre was designed as a temporary facility and has been built so it can be demobilised and stored in 24 shipping containers with a barcode system allowing it to be rapidly reassembled if ever required.

The facility will be removed, and Garran Oval remediated once the COVID-19 public health threat has passed.

Inside the COVID-19 Surge Centre in Garran.

The COVID-19 Surge Centre in Garran has room for 51 patients, including one bed for palliative care. Photo: Michelle Kroll.


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9 Responses to Canberra’s COVID-19 surge facility wins Global Project Excellence Award 2020
Acton Acton 7:01 am 17 Nov 20

It should be known as the Paranoia pop up because that is what it caters for. It is an ugly, unnecessary massive over reaction, which has deprived a school, the kids, sporting groups and local communities of much needed playing fields. Those who built it, paid for it and justify it should be ashamed of it and themselves.

Tracey Murray Tracey Murray 8:42 pm 16 Nov 20

I’m so glad we haven’t needed it - and I hope we never do! ⭐️

Charles Black Charles Black 8:24 pm 16 Nov 20

For those doubting the value ... Trump disbanded the pandemic preparation and response unit ... and they will end up with more deaths that’s in WW2.

As SA and Victoria have shown ... an outbreak is potentially a day away. So I am happy we are prepared.

JimCharles JimCharles 6:15 pm 16 Nov 20

Eddie Majcic, I believe the Chinese hospital was already built, in storage and was a clone of the initial SARS hospital. They also had the experience of doing it before.

Eddie Majcic Eddie Majcic 5:58 pm 16 Nov 20

Yeah and the Chinese built a full on hospital (twice this thing) in Wuhan at the start of pandemic in less than half the time.

    Kel Senior Kel Senior 9:05 pm 16 Nov 20

    Eddie Majcic and then it collapaed! 😂😂 #whocares #theystartedit #nothingtobeproudof

Gay McGuire Gay McGuire 1:56 pm 16 Nov 20

Be grateful we didn’t need it AND we were prepared if we did or still do! COVID-19 isn’t over yet.

    Emmac Ph Emmac Ph 3:02 pm 16 Nov 20

    Gay McGuire this deserved a gold star ⭐️ for the local council.

Trev Gill Trev Gill 1:16 pm 16 Nov 20

The best news I believe is it has not yet received any patients. Which makes that episode of Yes Minister prescient!😅

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