COVID-19 Surge Centre

Project Features

  • Delivered on behalf of the ACT Government and Aspen Medical
  • Temporary Emergency Department
  • Six-week construction time frame
  • Mechanical services delivered in four weeks, from design to commissioning
  • 1,700 sqm (approx.) facility with capacity for up to 50 beds
  • 6 x resuscitation bays
  • BIM technology utilised
  • Prefabricated and preassembled HVAC equipment utilised
Year Completed

Project Details

$23m temporary emergency medical facility constructed in just 36 days

Working in partnership with builder Manteena and Aspen Medical, Benmax successfully delivered the mechanical services for the $23 million temporary emergency department constructed alongside The Canberra Hospital in Garran, Canberra.

Officially completed in May 2020, the custom-built COVID-19 Surge Centre was constructed to support the ACT Government in their response to the evolving pandemic situation by boosting the territory’s medical capacity.

The facility took just seven days to plan, in consultation with the World Health Organization, and is a self-sufficient 1,700 sqm temporary building with capacity to provide up to six resuscitation bays, 32 acute non-admitted treatment bays and 12 short stay overnight beds.  Designed to flex up and down as demand requires, the facility will operate as long as the public health threat remains.

With a tight construction program of only six weeks, the Benmax team was well placed to deliver the project with in-house capacity to complete all stages of work from concept design and construction to commissioning.

A key element in meeting the delivery time frame for the mechanical services component of works was the use of prefabricated and preassembled equipment. This construction method proved highly beneficial as once the system design was finalised it allowed for much of the equipment to be built off site, in a controlled workshop environment, while the facility structure was being constructed. Once access to the site was possible, the team transported the equipment to site and completed the installation in a significantly shorter period of time.  This process also ensured the highest standards of quality control and on-site safety were maintained despite the condensed program.

About the facility:

  • Designed in consultation with the WHO it meets Australian standards and infection control measures
  • Made predominantly from locally sourced and produced materials to meet tight construction program
  • Temporary structure can be dismantled in a matter of weeks and stored in (24) shipping containers
  • Building design sits higher off the ground to allow services usually contained in the roof area to instead be channeled under the floor
  • Air in the building is ventilated 12 to 15 times per hour
  • Air leaving the building goes through a heat exchange system that reduces the energy requirements for heating the building in the ACT’s sub-zero temperatures by stopping heat being ventilated out


Benmax successfully completed work on the project in May 2020.

“We very much appreciate the efforts provided by Benmax. We recognise the design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of the mechanical works in 5 weeks was unprecedented. We hope you look back on your participation with pride knowing you responded professionally in a time of community need.”
Matthew Gygi, Project Manager – Aspen Medical


2021 Master Builders ACT Building Excellence Awards

  • Winner – Project Displaying Technical Difficulty or Innovation (Manteena)
Working in partnership with Manteena, Benmax delivered the mechanical services for the custom built 1,700 sqm temporary emergency department constructed in just 36 days.

Find out how we can help you

HVAC design specialists since 1986. Best practice is our standard.

We design, build and maintain specialised mechanical systems for commercial and industrial facilities to provide healthy, safe and efficient indoor environments for people to live, work and play. We’ve spent three decades building our reputation. We’ve done that by doing a good job, and getting another job.

This site uses Cookies.

We use Cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyse site traffic, personalise content, and serve targeted advertisement. By continuing to browse this site you will consent to our use of cookies.