April 10, 2020

Field Guide for Alternative COVID-19 Healthcare Environments

To provide the fastest response to the increased need for bed capacity due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, many hospitals are looking to convert not only clinical settings but also unconventional, non-healthcare spaces to temporary care units.

A team of healthcare architects, planners, clinicians, strategists, engineers and build experts at CannonDesign and Blue Cottage of CannonDesign collaborated to create a Field Guide for Alternative Care Environments that explores considerations for converting the following spaces into ICU and acute care spaces:

  • Existing med/surg beds to ICU beds
  • Hotel rooms to acute care rooms
  • Residence halls to acute care rooms
  • Large arena and event spaces to patient care environments

The field guide considers various scenarios hospitals are facing and the assumptions and considerations for each building type, as well as matrices that detail what equipment and staff are needed for each venue. We created the guide to provide creative and innovative space conversion guidelines to meet the need for additional patient care environments.

Download the field guide >

A recording of our team presenting the field guide can be watched below.


As you and your teams prepare for and respond to your local and regional population health needs, we stand ready to help you identify the best available solutions for your organization and scale up towards an accelerated activation.

If you have questions about the field guide or presentation, contact Maggie Bailey.