News Apr 2, 2020

Reimagining Shipping Containers → Emergency Intensive Care Units

Jacobs is joining an international alliance of architects, engineers, doctors, military experts and NGOs to convert shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Unit Pods for the COVID-19 pandemic.

CURA pods courtesy of CURA

UPDATE: The first fully operational pod has been deployed to a field hospital in Turin, Italy, an area hardest hit within the Piedmont region where hospitals have struggled to keep up with the influx of patients.  The city's historic Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR), a 19th-century former train repair facility that was saved recently and transformed into a cultural hub for the area, has become a temporary emergency medical facility where the first CURA pod is in use. Click here for pictures and more information.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, hospitals around the world are grappling with shortages of Intensive-Care Unit (ICU) space to treat a growing number of patients in needed of respiratory care and ventilators.

To help address the increasing challenge, Jacobs is joining forces with an international alliance to back a new project called CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments) that is focused on turning shipping containers into plug-in ICU pods to aid in the fight.

These pods are hosted in a 20-foot intermodal container, each equipped with all necessary medical equipment to treat two COVID-19 intensive-care patients. The first CURA unit will be built in Milan, Italy, where our team is supporting with master planning, architectural design, construction and logistics support services.

Building on practices from the COVID-19 emergency response so far, CURA pods are designed and constructed to be as speedy as setting up a hospital tent, but thanks to biocontainment, as safe as an isolation ward – helping provide patients with the care they need, while maintaining the safety and well-being of medical professionals.

Jacobs is working in partnership with the World Economic Forum and individuals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to support CURA, which translates to “cure” in Latin. The project is being developed in an open source, not-for-profit framework bringing together architects, engineers, doctors, military experts and NGOs to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Images courtesy of CURA