Construction of Beaufort West Clinic
The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works delivers infrastructure and services to people of the province to promote positive socio-economic outcome and safe, empowered and connected communities.
The Western Cape’s first “green” clinic is expected to have been completed in Beaufort West in February 2017. This R23,5 million facility was commissioned by the Department of Transport and Public Works for the provincial Department of Health. It will render the full range of primary health care services when it opens its doors to the public next year.
Beaufort West is usually dusty, very hot during the day, and very cold at night. A conventional approach to regulating temperature and air circulation relies heavily on air conditioning. The designers of this 1 050 m² single-storey building have reduced the need for air conditioning through appropriate design and natural materials.
The building has thick rammed earth walls which heat up slowly during the day and cool down slowly at night. This serves to keep the building cool during the hottest time of the day, and warm at night. Ventilation chimneys draw in air high above the ground where it is less dusty and take it down through rock stores underneath the building which temper the air before it goes to the air conditioning system. The use of rammed earth and rocks reduces the need for heating and cooling, and both materials are harvested from nature rather than having to be manufactured.
The design maximises the benefit of natural light by incorporating north-facing single-banked corridors with views of nature. The roof overhangs are designed to minimise the amount of summer sun coming into the building, while allowing in as much sun as possible in winter. The corridors are wide enough to incorporate patient waiting areas and are located around landscaped courtyards planted with indigenous saffron trees. Other green design features include energy-efficient lighting and solar water heating. The clinic will be fitted with an energy monitoring system so that its energy consumption can be compared with similar facilities built with more conventional methods and materials.
When it opens its doors to the public, the clinic will offer treatment for infectious and chronic diseases, oral health services, rehabilitation services, and specialised services for women and children.
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