Rapid Response COVID-19 technical helpdesk

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built environment is part of the Techne network of the WHO. Techne is a Technical Science for Health – Network that is coordinated by the WHO in which different partners provide support to frontline workers, including hospital/facility managers, Ministry of Health, and other ministries (civil protection), NGOs, and implementing partners on the ground, by delivering reports for the refurbishments of existing health clinics to be able to screen and care for Corona patients.

A small team from Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, led by the PI, Dr. Caroline Newton, provides design support for the realisation (or rehabilitation) of these care institutions. Next to technical reports the TU Delft team has also provided visual communication materials, such as 3D modells and renders.

Thanks to the project, technical advice can be provided quickly to local health organisations and hospitals. Especially in the South there is a substantial need for support. Local organisations or existing health centres are not equipped to provide an efficient response to the large influx of (potential) COVID patients. Thanks to the technical advice and the necessary drawings, these organisations can adapt their existing infrastructure in a very short period of time in order to receive and/or screen patients in a way that is safe for both the patient and the health professional. The centres are being redesigned in such a way that patients and nurses come into contact with each other as little as possible and therefore as less protective material as possible has to be used. In the meantime, the team has worked on four projects that are now being implemented or have already been implemented, two of which are in Africa, one in Europe and one in Latin America. 

For the project in Latin America, we drew up a modular proposal in which the Severe Acute Respiratory Infections Treatment Centre (SARI) is made up entirely of containers. We integrated the Safeguard project (which also received financial support from the COVID fund) from colleagues at TU Delft into the proposal.

The work of the TU Delft team is supported by the TU Delft COVID Fund and Delft Global.


Funder: TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund
Project duration: The TU Delft team has contributed to five projects in total between August and November 2020.
TU Delft researchers:                     Caroline Newton*

* The project is led by Caroline Newton, who collaborates with four students from the Master in Urbanism: Jackson Kariuki Gathanga, Divya Gunnam, Ying Hou, Chen Gao.