China speed

By Zhang Ni Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/6 21:46:41

Hospital construction shows nation’s building prowess


Workers from disparate secotrs work on the construction site of Leishenshan Hospital on Wednesday in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. Photo: cnsphoto

Laboring day and night, thousands of workers and hundreds of machines constructed Wuhan's Huoshenshan Hospital - a 1,000-bed emergency field hospital designed to tackle the novel coronavirus - in just nine days. 

The government of Wuhan, in Central China's Hubei Province, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, decided to build the Huoshenshan Hospital and the Leishenshan Hospital to relieve pressure on local hospitals and ensure the best treatment of coronavirus patients.

From design to excavation, from setting up internet coverage to opening a 24-hour smart convenience store, the construction of the hospitals was made possible by the contributions of professionals from disparate sectors who together used their industrial and technological expertise to pull off the mammoth urgent task. 

It put China's massive manufacturing, construction, design and organizational abilities and knowhow on full display.

On the first day of construction, which was January 24 and this year's Chinese New Year's eve, a team of 95 excavators, 33 bulldozers, five heavy rollers, 160 dump trucks, 160 managers, 2,240 workers was assembled. That night at the site, 50,000 square meters - the size of seven soccer fields, - was leveled.

Busy work

In livestreams from the construction site, provided by China Central Television, millions of online viewers made up nicknames for the machines they could see working through these days. 

Concrete pump trucks from SANY Heavy Industry, China's leading machinery manufacturer were dubbed "Dahong," or Big Red. The company's excavators were named "Xiaohuang," or Little Yellow.

During construction 106 pieces of SANY's heavy equipment worked around the clock building the foundation for the hospital.

"Our drivers who had returned to their hometowns for the Spring Festival holiday returned to work in Wuhan after receiving phone calls from the company," said Chen Jinsong, an employee with Hubei Honghui Machinery Co which sells and services SANY machinery. 

"Some of the work needed two, 12-hour shifts a day, and our crane drivers had to sleep in a car and only got two or three hours sleep a day," Chen told the Global Times.

Due to urgency there were some serious construction challenges such as the prefab buildings ordered from various suppliers had different design standards, said Huang Tian, a project technician with China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co.

"A difference of a couple of centimeters can add up to several meters, when hundreds of the prefab buildings are spliced together," Huang said.

In order to solve this problem, more than 780 containers had to be "precisely positioned," which Huang and her colleagues managed complete after four consecutive days and nights.

IT support

After detailed analysis and a demonstration, Huoshenshan Hospital decided to employ China Telecom's Tianyi Cloud for its information system.

China Telecom launched a full package of services including project planning, communication facilities construction and maintenance and emergency communications. 

It took China Telecom only 12 hours to build a remote consultation system linking Huoshenshan and the Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing, according to a statement from the company.

China Telecom on Saturday finished the hospital's information system which also includes 5G and 4G network coverage. 

It took China's tech giant Huawei, who also participated in the network building, only three days to set up 5G base stations for Huoshenshan Hospital.

Huawei has also set up special support groups involved in the procurement of services, supply chain logistics, research, to guarantee the operation of the video conferencing system for Hubei Province's Health Commission.

Electricity guarantee

On early Saturday morning, Huoshenshan Hospital's electric power was turned on. 

More than 200 construction personnel from State Grid Corp's Wuhan branch spent about a week, often in inclement weather, completing the electric wiring of every room in the hospital. 

To ensure the safe use of electricity in Leishenshan Hospital, the power company assigned safety managers and set up fences and tape warning other workers in potentially dangers areas, creating safe construction site, Hu Hao, general manager of the local power supply firm in the Caidian district under the State Grid said. 

"The fast construction of Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals impressed the nation, showing off China's strong infrastructure muscle, organizational and coordination skills, resources and sound supply chain guarantees," Yang Xiaowen, a senior regional manager responsible for Wuhan with Schneider Electric, told the Global Times.

All workers on site wear masks and conduct construction work in an orderly fashion, Yang said.

Before the Huoshenshan Hospital began to receive patients on Monday, the electrical equipment aided by Schneider Electric (China) Co had been set up in the hospital.

Generally, it takes about 1-2 weeks from winning the bid to delivering core components of a project, but all the core components needed in the construction of Huoshenshan Hospital had to be delivered within two days. And construction materials of Leishenshan Hospital need to be delivered within three days, Yang said, noting that the firm conducted "unconventional operations" to secure the supply of electric parts.

"Everyone worked very hard… I believe that no matter wherever there is difficulty in China, every Chinese citizen has an obligation and is willing to contribute," Liu Tao, an employee with SANY told the Global Times.

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