Case Study

Netcare Christiaan Barnard Cape Town Partners with Saint-Gobain Africa for Optimal Solutions

Project History
Originally located in the centre Cape Town’s City Bowl, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital (CBMH) is one of the city’s oldest private hospitals. With 248 beds, 11 theatres and 110 medical doctors and specialists in addition to cardiocatherisation laboratories and other facilities, the 28 000m2 hospital prides itself as a super-specialised centre of excellence in cardiac services and transplantation.

Project Background
The structure, which was developed as a commercial building in 1969, was converted into a hospital building 26 years ago. In 2007 an investigation commenced to assess whether Netcare should renovate or relocate the hospital and after a building audit in 2009, a decision was taken to relocate to the Foreshore in the Roggebaai precinct.

Project brief
The landlord and hospital group proceeded collaboratively to adapt the shell into a new and improved version of CBMH, and Saint-Gobain Gyproc was requested to specify products to contribute towards fulfilling Netcare’s fit-out brief for the building. The project required a material that could offer
time and cost effectiveness together with comfort and safety features like acoustic control, fire ratings and thermal balance, whilst being durable and sustainable.

Project outcome
Drywall construction was the optimal fit-out solution for construction because the footprint at each level of the ten-storey building needed to meet world-class hospital design requirements and comply with the Department of Health’s regulations. The hospital needed to cater for organic growth on individual floors including an additional 82 beds and three planned theatres. The design enables spaces to evolve as new medical specialities are introduced to occupy the top floors.

Unique design features
Flexibility in layout was achieved through innovative plasterboard systems so that rooms can be reconfigured to meet the institution’s planned or retrospective needs as the high-rise building develops over time. Drywall installation was used throughout the interior of the hospital and Saint-Gobain Gyproc 106mm drywall together with a combination of plasterboard panels were selected for the fit-out. Two more floors had to unexpectedly be added during construction, and this was achieved by replacing brickwork on certain levels with drywalling

Saint-Gobain Africa Systems and Product Benefits

Key system benefits
Because drywalls are ten times lighter, this contributed towards a weight saving on the upper floors which had the upside of enabling the earthquake design loads to stay within their required parameters, leading to a structural cost saving of 17,5%. Using plasterboard meant the project fit-out could be completed ahead of schedule because of the convenience of dry-works. The construction also required less mess and noise because of the innovative Gyproc construction materials used.

Design challenges
Because of the ever-changing nature of the project, being able to provide a quick, clean and relatively quiet fit-out added true value. In any built environment, comfort features like acoustic and thermal properties are important, and these considerations are particularly relevant in a hospital environment where patient comfort is essential. The specified drywall systems were able to provide a decibel rating upwards of 50dB, which is higher than the sound transmission performance of a 220mm brick wall. Certain drywall panels together with insulation were also specified to ensure a one-to-two fire rating and help manage thermal properties, and this added the benefit of reducing electricity usage and increasing sustainability standards.

Project Summary
The hospital certainly reflects the spirit of its namesake, Dr Christiaan Barnard, whose work was at the cutting edge of medicine at the time. This state-of-the-art hospital represents the most innovative and advanced medical technology and we’re proud to say that the drywalling technology specified has added value to this outstanding South African facility by creating a new build that offers superior practical, safety and comfort features, while being kind to the environment.