Impressive sustainable design features for Hillside clinic in Beaufort West
“This clinic is a direct response to the outcry of the community as the previous building was too small for the number of services that were offered and patient flow was a big issue because of space constraints. In addition to that, there was no parking available for our clients;” said Mbombo.
The “green” clinic which was commissioned by the Department of Transport and Public Works for the provincial Department of Health at a cost of R23.5 million boasts the most sustainable design features than any other conventional facility in the Province.
“Working and living in ways that respect our environment and which promote our health and well-being is a significant part of the Western Cape Government’s vision for the people of this province. We aim to make the province the leading green economic hub on the African continent. This new facility exemplifies the green building principles that will achieve this vision,” said Western Cape Minister of Health Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
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 using appropriate design and the use of 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 using more conventional methods and materials.
The clinic which will offer treatment for infectious and chronic diseases, oral health services, rehabilitation services, and specialised services for women and children will be open to the public in July.
The local leaders of Beaufort West were also in attendance and welcomed the new clinic.
We look forward to welcoming our clients to our new facility.