U.S. Engineering Teams Fast-Track Fabrication for Alternative Care Facility in Memphis

May 29, 2020

U.S. Engineering companies continue to respond to challenges caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Recently that response came in the form of a 7-Stall ADA Shower Trailer, a 100-piece custom fin tube order and 16 designed-from-scratch, turn-key restroom pods for an Alternative Care Facility with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Our teams designed and fabricated these products at U.S. Engineering Metalworks’ shop in Colorado and shipped everything to Memphis, Tennessee, in a remarkable 14 days.

The Memphis Alternative Care Facility is the second field hospital conversion U.S. Engineering teams have assisted the Army Corps of Engineers with in recent weeks. (Read about our teams’ work on the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.) The new facility—formerly the site of The Commercial Appeal, a news organization—will have the capacity to accommodate over 400 patients and will be used if Memphis-area hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. You can read more about the site and building conversion at the Daily Memphian.

U.S. Engineering Innovations, Metalworks and Construction teams combined efforts to fast-track the Memphis project and deliver the product efficiently and on time. The teams also adapted to a tricky situation regarding the pods, which they affectionately dubbed “Elvis” pods (since the site location is in the same city as Graceland). Jeff Kiblen, General Manager of U.S. Engineering Innovations, explains: “One of the challenges of this project was that the pods were scheduled for installation on the fourth floor, and no walls or windows could be removed to install them. So our team—and I emphasize team—designed the pods to fit in the dimensions of a freight elevator.”

The solution? Pop the top. The U.S. Engineering team designed the pods with removeable ceilings. To ship them from our Metalworks facility in Johnstown, Colorado, 1,100 miles to Memphis, the team boat-wrapped the lids and pods separately, four per truck. When the pods and lids arrived at the Alternative Care Facility on May 9, the onsite crews unloaded them, packed them into the freight elevator, snapped the roofs into place and installed them on the fourth floor.

U.S. Engineering is proud to have been a partner on the Memphis project, and we’re proud of our team members who helped make it happen. This project is an example not only of the incredible skill and determination our teams exhibit, but also of their commitment to community.

For more on this project, view a slideshow at Commercial Appeal, and watch a video about the build (including a peak at the shower stall we built, starting at 0:36).

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