Future-proofing hospitals through innovation in planning, design and development

Online Event  I  16 September, 2020  I  9:30AM - 12:30PM AEST

Future-Proofing Hospitals Online Event Agenda


Elke Kropf

Director Operational Services
Central Adelaide Local Health Network

9:35 am - 10:10 am Delivering a $23 Million Stand-Up Emergency Department in Canberra to Support Hospital Capacity During COVID-19

Sophie Gray - Project Director Temporary COVID-19 Surge Centre, Major Projects Canberra

From January-March 2020 the COVID19 curve was escalating dramatically and worse case data modelling predicted that Australia’s healthcare system could be overwhelmed.


In a proactive approach to meet the immediate need for a surge facility and increased emergency department capacity, Major Projects Canberra in collaboration with Canberra Health Services and industry partner Aspen Medical converted a suburban oval into an emergency care treatment centre for confirmed and suspected COVID19 patients. The first of its kind in Australia. Attend this session to learn about:


  • The specific design process for this facility which was developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation 
  • Overcoming the challenges of delivering this project effectively during a pandemic and to a tight time line - the whole facility being constructed in just 37 days
  • Challenges, lessons learnt & key takeaways to implement similar hybrid modular infrastructure for your organisation  

Sophie Gray

Project Director Temporary COVID-19 Surge Centre
Major Projects Canberra

10:15 am - 10:50 am Rethinking Flexibility for Future Hospitals

Simon Witts - Principal, LCI Consultants

As societies and technologies advance, so too do sophisticated infection control responses to pandemics. Evolving alongside the healthcare landscape, these innovations uncover new complexities and challenges.  

LCI Consultants’ Principal Simon Witts, is the co-author of the Engineering Guidelines for Healthcare Facilities, published in June 2020 by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA).

Simon will present on the design of building services for Healthcare facilities, and his recent research on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies of aerosol particles through HVAC systems. Drawing on his experience as building practitioner during COVID-19 pandemic, he will illustrate issues faced by building services systems in recent months, the need for flexibility, and the possibilities of a holistic approach to services planning. 


Simon Witts

LCI Consultants

10:50 am - 11:00 am Short Break

11:00 am - 11:35 am Exploring the Disaster Resilient Design of the $2.4 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital and Lessons Learnt from COVID-19

Elke Kropf - Director Operational Services, Central Adelaide Local Health Network

The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is the state’s flagship hospital providing a comprehensive range of clinical care to an estimated 85 000 inpatients and 400 000 outpatients a year.


Structurally, the hospital has the capacity to play a lead role in South Australia’s disaster management strategies for both natural disasters and pandemics. Despite having these measures in place, when the pandemic hit it was still a huge change management process to ensure the hospital could cope with a surge of cases. However, due to effective leadership and the valuable infrastructure already in place, the RAH rose to the challenge. Join this session to learn gain an insight into this journey focusing on:

  • Features of the hospital that allowed it to be so resilient to the pandemic such as quarantine rooms, negative pressures rooms, patient flow directly from the emergency department to the pandemic enabled inpatient areas the addition of a COVID-19 testing clinic, testing up to 250 individuals per day which was established in just 24 hours
  • Development of a logistics command centre to centrally manage the response to COVID-19
  • Lessons learnt: empowering staff during challenging times, having a well-rehearsed pandemic plan and what RAH would do differently if faced with this pandemic again

Elke Kropf

Director Operational Services
Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Designing fit for purpose infrastructure for current and future communities has never been more important. During COVID-19, there have been multiple innovative examples of adapting to immediate capacity challenges through additional minor works and surge facilities. However, moving forward how will these lessons adapt the delivery and development of hospital infrastructure? Join this panel discussion to learn more about:

  • What role does hospital infrastructure play in protecting the community from a pandemic?
  • How can existing hospitals be redesigned or expanded to deal with outbreaks occurring now?
  • Will COVID-19 change the way we design hospitals? Were our existing hospitals prepared for COVID-19?
  • What are some strategies to ensure that hospital development projects can still continue on time and within budget during this pandemic?

Wayne Jones

Chief Executive
Northern NSW Local Health District


Russell Harrison

Western Health


Elke Kropf

Director Operational Services
Central Adelaide Local Health Network


Robert Pulsford

Director of Infrastructure
WA County Health Service