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SUSTAINABILITY


ULRIKE KUSCHKE – PUBLIC SECTOR ARCHITECT, SOUTH AFRICA YUSUF JACOB – MECHANICAL ENGINEER, SOUTH AFRICA JEHAN BHIKOO – ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIST, SOUTH AFRICA


Searching for sustainability


Ulrike Kuschke, Yusuf Jacob and Jehan Bhikoo provide an insight into a sustainable design project for the Hillside Clinic in the arid Karoo, South Africa.


The Hillside Clinic, completed in 2017, is located in the town of Beaufort West, approximately six hours’ drive from Cape Town. The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) and provincial Department of Health, with a consultant team of architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, developed the 1045 m2


project with an emphasis on


reduced energy consumption, while ensuring that the statutory requirements for ventilation rates and acceptable indoor temperature were achieved. Further imperatives were a reduced carbon footprint during construction, creating local employment, and skills development.


Context Climate: Beaufort West is situated in an arid climatic zone, with large diurnal and seasonal temperature swings. It falls within the Koppen-Geiger climatic classification BWk – Arid Desert Cold. It is anticipated that the extent of land area


View across the park towards entrance of Hillside Clinic.


that falls within this climate classification may increase by 16% if climate change causes a mean global temperature rise of 2˚C. This project therefore presents a useful opportunity for investigating energy-saving technologies appropriate for a climate type whose footprint is likely to increase. Location: Beaufort West is the largest


town in the Great Karoo region, with a population of 53,000 and an anticipated growth rate of 1% per annum. It was formerly an important railway marshalling yard and remains the centre of a mainly sheep farming agricultural district. Patient profile: This clinic serves the


currently uninsured, low-income population. According to the 2017 Western Cape Socio-Economic Profile for Beaufort West the three largest socio- economic risks are drought, a lack of financial sustainability (dependency on social grants) and stagnating economic growth. Life for many people can be characterised as a battle for financial survival in an area with few opportunities. In addition, South Africa has the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) deaths in the world (5% of the global burden of this disease).


Ulrike Kuschke Yusuf Jacob Jehan Bhikoo


•Ulrike Kuschke is a public sector architect specialising in healthcare facility design. She has extensive experience of leading complex projects and meeting stretch targets. She has instilled a research and development ethos in her team, leading to the development of guideline documentation and the provision of highly innovative solutions to health infrastructure problems in the context of a developing economy. •Yusuf Jacob is a professional mechanical engineer with 22 years’ experience in the built environment. He has been part of the Health Infrastructure unit at the Department of Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, South Africa for several years and has led various health infrastructure projects from inception to completion. He has experience in sustainable solutions for Health care facilities. •Jehan Bhikoo, an architectural technologist, has 8 years’ experience in public healthcare infrastructure delivery in the Western Cape’s Department of Transport and Public Works. She completed an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development at the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit, University College London. Her drive is to be part of the development of future sustainable cities that tackle socio-environmental challenges.


IFHE DIGEST 2020


Social sustainability: The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Green Star SA rating system is modelled on the Australian system and has been customised for the local context, with the noteworthy additional Socio-Economic Category certification option. Although DTPW seldom registers


projects for GBCSA rating, there is potential value in applying for independent verification of the positive socio-economic impact of targeted infrastructure development such as that of the Hillside Clinic. All public projects target labour-


intensive approaches, local employment, skills development for labourers, and


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