Meritus Health 2 South - Regional Infection Containment Wing

Hagerstown, Md.

Award of Merit


OWNER: Meritus Health

LEAD DESIGN FIRM: Matthei & Colin Associates LLC

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Gilbane Building Co.

CIVIL ENGINEER: Frederick, Seibert & Associates Inc.



SUBCONTRACTORS: Ellsworth Electric Inc.; Heffron Co. (Plumbing and Mechanical); Kinsley Manufacturing (Demolition, Sitework, Concrete and Steel); Cindell Construction Co. (Drywall and Ceilings); KBK Builders LLC (General Trades and Rough Carpentry); Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. (Roofing and Waterproofing)

Racing against time and the spread of COVID-19, the project team designed, permitted and built the 20-bed, 12,800-sq-ft patient-ready addition in just four months. The unit is designed with the functionality to ensure quality care under both routine conditions and public health emergencies. It allows staff to easily observe all patient rooms in a setting fully isolated from the rest of the hospital. Each patient room is equipped with monitors to maintain air pressure requirements that keep staff and patients safe from cross contamination. Medical gas systems allow 20 ventilators to operate simultaneously. All critical functions are served from the emergency power generator plant.

Adaptability was a watchword for the project, according to the design and construction team, which was still adjusting to pandemic-imposed remote work processes. Typically, projects of a comparable size and scope take nearly two years to complete, the team says. In this case, daily video calls kept the design process moving. The team also used an inverted approach that required major equipment to be selected before the final floor plan and load calculations were complete. Local review authorities regularly joined design meetings to provide input and eliminate the risk of time-consuming review submissions.

COVID-19 overshadowed the fast-paced construction effort, which had to balance multi-shift staffing requirements with still-evolving jobsite safety protocols, the team says.