The Border Kei Institute of Architects (BKIA), in partnership with Polyflor SA, recently gave 32 architects a glimpse into what is required to plan and construct a state-of-the-art healthcare facility, by hosting an information day at the nearly completed Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in East London.
This tertiary teaching hospital is located in the Mdantsane township in East London, Eastern Cape – the second largest township in South Africa after Soweto – and was named after the first African woman to become a professional nurse in South Africa.
Construction started in 2011 and it is expected that the facility will officially open its doors in December 2017. It boasts a nursing college, accommodation for nurses and doctors, emergency medical services, general surgery, a TB unit, maternity wards, accident and trauma unit, intensive care unit, orthopaedic surgery, 630 beds (530 specialist beds and 100 mental health), a TB unit with 700 beds and other standard medical divisions to serve a population of 267,000.
According to Carike Gouws, Infrastructure Portfolio Manager for the Sarah Barman District, the aim of the information day was to showcase an example of one of the country’s state-of-the-art health facilities and inspire architects to get involved in health planning.
“The BKIA hosts a number of CPD events for local architects throughout the year. However, it is not often that we can visit a building of this complexity and in a specialised field of architecture on our doorstep, and it was therefore undoubtedly one of the highlights on the BKIA calendar,” Gouws says.
Highlights of the day included a lecture and guided tour of the facilities by Hylton Schwenk of Sakhiwo Health Solutions and the Health Planner on the project, and an informative session on the importance of screed preparation and building protection by Tandy Coleman of Polyflor, sponsors of the event.
Polyflor provided 29 574 m² of Pearlazzo PUR vinyl sheeting, 2 950 m2 of Astral PUR heavy-duty flexible vinyl sheet safety flooring, 1 200 m² of highly decorative Hydro Evolve safety vinyl flooring and 490 m² of ESD flooring throughout the new facility – thereby combining the assurance of sustainable slip resistance with high durability for years to come.
“The day offered a valuable opportunity for architects and specialists in the field to talk about the complexity of healthcare design and health planning, and also to ask and answer questions they had about how specific challenges were overcome,” Tandy confirms.
“The architects who attended were amazed by the technology and complexity around health planning, and were also very vocal about how beautiful the floors still look two years after they were installed, and with minimal maintenance. We value the opportunity we were given to engage with them on a personal level and to be able to offer them advice on similar projects in which they might be involved,” she says.
It was clear that the day was a huge success and that everyone also enjoyed the opportunity to see the inner-workings of a high-tech hospital such as the theatres, circulation areas and wards. “A lot of effort goes into health planning and that it is critical to have a well experienced and educated team who has knowledge of both building and healthcare to arrive at such a well thought out functional and aesthetically pleasing building. Polyflor’s involvement and sponsorship made the event possible and for that we are very thankful,” Carike concluded.