Beaufort West Hillside Clinic completed
To help give effect to PSG1 “Creating opportunities for growth and jobs”, and in support of the Western Cape Government’s Green Economy mandate, the Chief Directorate: Health Infrastructure of the Department of Transport and Public Works recently completed the new Hillside Clinic in Beaufort West at a cost of R24,5 million.
“The new clinic was built to replace the Constitution Street Clinic which had become too small to meet the primary health care needs of Beaufort West’s growing population,” said DTPW project leader Jehan Bhikoo.
“This new facility boasts the most ‘green’ features of any primary health care facility in the Western Cape”, she added.
The 1 050 m² single-storey building incorporates a host of sustainable design features. A passive design approach was adopted to mitigate the extreme climatic conditions of the Karoo and reduce the need for heating and cooling. Thick rammed earth walls were chosen for their high thermal mass. They are slow to heat up, which keeps the interior cool during the intense heat of the day. Underground thermal rock stores with ventilation chimneys are used to pre-heat and pre-cool the air from the outside before it is circulated into the facility.
The clinic was designed to optimise natural daylight. North-facing single-banked corridors and large overhangs limit the penetration of the sun in summer, but allow winter sunlight deep into the building. The corridors are wide enough to incorporate patient waiting areas, and are located around landscaped courtyards. The facility provides the full range of primary health care services including infectious disease and support care, rehabilitation, oral health, chronic disease care, and woman and child health services. It also has a pharmacy, and areas for reception and record-keeping.
Other sustainable design features include energy-efficient light fittings, solar water heating, and a borehole for irrigation of the water-wise landscaping.
“The biggest challenge was around the construction of the rammed earth walls, which is an unconventional approach to construction”, said Jehan.