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Project Profile

COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness for Health System Medical Centers

ABS Group's Extreme Loads and Structural Risk Division quickly delivered structural engineering support to help two university health system medical centers prepare their facilities for COVID-19 emergency response.

Project Objectives

Health System Medical Center – Covid 19 Preparedness

Project Overview

ABS Group's Extreme Loads and Structural Risk (ELSR) division was engaged by Riverside University Health System Medical Center, the principal emergency and healthcare provider for Riverside County, California, to provide structural engineering support for an emergency COVID-19 preparedness project and a temporary mobile laboratory. In addition, the team was engaged by Loma Linda University Medical Center, a principal emergency and healthcare provider for San Bernardino County, California, to provide seismic design services for a laboratory bio-safety cabinet and sophisticated clinical diagnostic analyzers needed to expedite patient COVID-19 testing.

Our highly specialized ELSR division provides state-of-the-art engineering investigation, advanced structural analysis and design services focused on mitigating the impacts of natural and man-made hazards. In this case study, we delivered rapid structural engineering support to help our clients respond quickly during an emerging crisis to help their affected communities prepare for infectious disease recovery. 

Client Needs
  • Structural engineering support during construction of temporary systems for COVID-19 recovery and research
  • Review designs for compliance with Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development
  • Help local government and health systems mitigate risk of infectious disease transmission


Structural Engineering Support Services

A long-standing partner to the healthcare industry 

ABS Consulting, a subsidiary of ABS Group, has had long-standing relationships with dozens of medical facilities throughout the southern California region. Past projects have ranged from equipment replacement and tenant improvements to complex seismic retrofit, building additions and design of new facilities. Additionally, ABS Consulting has provided code compliance review of new hospitals for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. We emphasize the importance of close interaction between ABS Consulting team members and our clients to develop a thorough understanding of each project and to achieve successful completion on time and within budget. Through proper planning, coordination and adherence to strict epidemiology standards, many of the hospital structures we have retrofitted remained near full occupancy and functionality while being strengthened. Our senior staff is directly involved in overseeing quality control so project requirements are met to the client's satisfaction.

Our Solution:

The intent of the Riverside project was to provide support for temporary systems to achieve negative pressure and 100% exhaust to nearly 100 patient rooms located across three wings of the hospital, as well as portions of the Emergency Department, in response to the pandemic.

The design of the steel equipment platform structures had to allow for all construction to be completed from outside of the hospital, avoid existing equipment and obstructions and pass the scrutiny of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, thereby allowing the structures to remain in place after the current emergency has passed. Since the patient rooms were located on the lower levels of the hospital, ducting had to be mounted to the building's exterior cladding. The design was completed and fully coordinated between all design team consultants within 2-1/2 weeks and has since transitioned to the construction phase.

Installation of a Temporary Mobile Lab

We are providing structural seismic services for the construction of a temporary mobile lab to handle additional diagnostic case load for COVID-19 patient testing. This mobile lab is expected to be completed in mid-June 2020. 

Riverside University Health System Medical Center – Temporary CT Trailer


Helping Communities Recover Safely 

Risk Management Framework to Reduce Disease Transmission Risk

The COVID-19 infectious disease pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to global communities across public and private sectors. As a solution to help organizations and communities recover safely and quickly, ABS Group developed the Restart Risk Model™, a methodology and process to help organizations understand their risk to disease infection and build a recovery plan for their specific work sites.

Our consulting team has a long history in developing safety and risk management programs to mitigate emerging threats including natural hazards, major accidents and terrorism. When an incident occurs, we are qualified to assist in managing your overall organizational response—from providing incident investigation support and technical analyses to interfacing with regulatory and legal stakeholders during emergency response and recovery. Learn more about our systematic approach to analyze the risk of disease transmission in the workplace.

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