Healthcare and healthy buildings
A partnership between Growthpoint and Cintocare, the hospital – which focuses exclusively on head and neck, spinal and vascular surgery – was awarded a Green Building Council South Africa 5-Star Green Star Custom Healthcare Design rating in May 2020, making it the first healthcare facility in Africa to be recognised for its sustainable achievements.
The 29 000m², seven-storey building, designed by A3 Architects, is situated in the Menlyn Maine Precinct of Tshwane, adjacent to the Central Square shopping centre – also a Green Star-rated development. Construction began in July 2018.
The hospital has 100 beds (which can be expanded to 160 beds), 15 consulting rooms and five surgical theatres, one of which is a hybrid theatre, equipped with advanced medical imaging devices which enable minimally invasive surgery. The front of the building features a horizontal shading device, designed to be evocative of spinal vertebrae found in the neck, which swoops across an impressive glass façade – hinting at the inner purpose of the building.
“The design philosophy for Cintocare is centered around the doctor, patient, staff and visitor experience. For the doctors and hospital staff, the facility provides a positive working environment with state-of-the-art equipment and technologies, while patients and visitors benefit from excellence in healthcare, customer services and personalised attention,” says Growthpoint’s CEO, Rudolf Pienaar.
Sustainability consultant, Adrie Fourie, from Urban Reflection* concurs: “With an increased focus on health and wellness in offices spaces, more attention is being paid to elements around indoor air quality, and creating spaces that support reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. This project, however, went above and beyond, realising that for healthcare facilities it would be imperative to place the end user experience (staff, visitors and patients) as a focal point for the design strategy.”
Healthy buildings = Healthy people
Conventional hospitals often have considerable carbon emission profiles due to the energy and water consumption required for their daily operations, explains Adrie Fourie. The Cintocare Hospital was able to reduce its operational footprint considerably, “while creating a place of healing, not only a place for treatment”.
The user-first approach informed some of the key design decisions. These included designing an appropriate HVAC system that places infection control and indoor air quality at the fore, while also ensuring increased maintenance access to keep it functioning optimally.
Other green building features include high levels of thermal comfort for 95% of the usable area, a recycling waste storage facility, metering of energy and water use, a rainwater storage tank for routine fire protection, entryway walk-off mats which capture particulates from occupants’ shoes, and the creation and implementation of a sustainable procurement guide.
The inclusion of as much daylight as possible was also critical. “Natural daylight is an environmental factor that has a great impact on health and wellbeing of people within a space. Research suggests that healthy hospitals, where these factors are considered, improve patient outcomes and assist in the recovery process,” emphasises Pienaar. The glazed façade ensures that 92% of the bedded areas have access to daylight and external views.
Creating a custom tool
In order to facilitate the Green Star certification of the hospital, Fourie led the creation of a new custom Green Star tool. “The creation of a new tool focused on a previously unrepresented sector like healthcare, is a strong illustrator that any industry can and should ‘go green’ – it reaches a completely new sub-set of design professionals, healthcare practitioners, product suppliers and manufacturers, and creates momentum for a ripple-effect of wider industry transformation. Spreading awareness and facilitating change are the building blocks that will move the green building agenda to new heights,” she says.
Pienaar believes that healthcare facilities should always aim to make an impact on the broader environment and, more specifically, they should benefit the people who use them. The Cintocare Hospital is leading the way into that arena head and shoulders above the rest. “‘Healthier’ healthcare facilities with direct benefits to human health will be sought after more and more in South Africa in the years to come,” Pienaar concludes.
SA Building Review 2020 – Cintocare Hospital
Careers at Cintocare
Making Cintocare your workplace of choice will put you among the best and brightest in research and care. We aim to attract talented, high-calibre individuals to join our organisation.
Our focus is on service excellence and compassionate patient care. A wide spectrum of opportunities are available within the different disciplines and, according to the unique requirements for each of the vacancies, the best individuals will be appointed.
Challenge yourself to build an exciting career, and take pride in knowing you are part of the Cintocare team. Continuous professional development and training is one of the cornerstones and will materialise through a well-equiped training centre and simulation lab.