Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

SAFHE Northern Region recently held a member’s evening in the company of professionals who were part of the team who designed and engineered the recently opened Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

The architect team shared their experiences through a set of presentations, followed by discussion. Caron Schnaid, associate at GAPP Architects and Urban Designers shared design team aspirations to design an iconic building form, in keeping with its patron’s vision and the critical regional function it needs to perform, but which is nevertheless cognisant of the context of Parktown, a leafy suburb very close to Johannesburg’s city centre, in which the new building is sited. She showed how the form, scale and detail were informed by the heritage of the area, and how the landscaping and layout were informed by both the therapeutic and clinical programme as well as the setting. Serenal Nadar, a Senior Technical Manager at Ruben Reddy Architects took the audience on a colourful photo-journey through the hospital and discussed the interior design approach. This focussed on how children encounter the clinical environment, and the use of colour, imagery and finishing detail as mediator.

Thereafter Peter Schilder discussed acceptance testing at the new Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. Peter brings extensive management experience in operational, regional, national, group and director level in the private healthcare and facilities management sectors. He pointed out that the hospital boasts some of the most advanced medical equipment in the world in order to provide cutting edge medical services to children. When Servest Integrated Solutions was awarded the Facilities Management Contract at the hospital it undertook to formally take acceptance of the facility. Peter’s presentation addressed the technical aspects of the facility as well as the process of Acceptance Testing. Peter drew a clear distinction between concepts of Commissioning and Acceptance Testing, with its emphasis on integration testing. This process took place over the six months between practical and final completion, and brought to light a number of potentially disruptive and expensive problems which could be resolved before the hospital opened, paving the way for the facility management provider to accept the facility from the main contractor.

The evening was hosted by Tecmed.