“Transforming societies and meeting challenges”…

“Transforming societies and meeting challenges”…

Rory Macnamara. Technical input by Marnus Pretorius, Cornelius Barnard, and Jako Skeen

…These were the words of Roland Busch, President and CEO of Siemens AG at the opening of the ‘design and construct’, 100 bed hospital in Mdantsane, Buffalo City, Eastern Cape Province, to add beds to an overcrowded main hospital, as well as anticipating the Covid third wave.

Jako Skeen, architect, commented, “Thank you for the opportunity to shed light on the architects’ side of this project.

From an architectural point of view, this was a very streamlined project, every aspect of the building came together very efficiently and number fit. Consultants and the construction team also played a very important role in the process, and it was an absolute pleasure working with them. The lightweight structure and modular system made all the difference in the construction process with cost and time constraints on this project. Conventional finishes were also reduced without compromising quality, to tie in with the fast pace. With careful planning and the collaborative actions of the professional team this surely is a positive addition to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital.”

The speedy construction was made possible by the outstanding commitment and collaboration of all project partners.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through GIZ funded the project to an amount of R63-million. The charitable association Siemens Caring Hands contributed donations of R9-million raised by Siemens employees, effectively doubling the in-kind contributions made by Siemens and Siemens Healthineers. Aspen Pharmaceuticals provide an additional R4-million with The Solidarity Fund managing the donations.

“This modular solution is not only practical and impactful, but also represents the kind of agile, purpose-led solutions that are needed to combat the pandemic that is evolving before our eyes,” stated Tandi Nzimande, CEO of The Solidarity Fund.

Notwithstanding the lockdowns and moving from different levels, this project was completed in under 100 days.

The field hospital is a single-storey 100-bed facility, catering for the overflow from the local hospital, the township community of Mdantsane 17km out of East London, as well as the treatment of Covid patients.

Construction company, WBHO, was the contractor and, because of the urgency, it is best described as a fast-paced operation as it had to be designed, constructed, and handed over in three months.

Consequently, procurement and delivery were under pressure as was the work by the various disciplines who had to ensure they worked together without tripping over each other or getting in each other’s way.

Wet Service design, Quality Control and supervision was by Marnus Pretorius of Wills, Franklin, Pretorius Consulting Engineers (WF-P).

From the plumbing point of view, the challenges were that the piping had to be surface mounted as the panels were made of aluminium and wall chasing could not be applied. At the same time, locating the original hospital drainage and water infrastructure was difficult as there was no record of the original drawings, and all the piping was underground.

All hot and cold-water supply pipes were surface mounted against the panels with main runs in the open roof space. As the pipes were surface mounted all soldering and installation had to be neat.

The taps and mixers had to be installed in the insulated panel walls with retrofit stainless-steel covers that matched the aluminium insulated panel look and feel. Hospitals are tricky by nature as the plumbing (floor drains and basins and other plumbing) must be installed in the wards, which are not necessarily located along a duct requiring additional piping for drain connections at surface level.

Drainage was installed in the dedicated ducts, which were recessed into the floor to expose all plumbing connections for access and future maintenance.

Being in a coastal area, all materials and equipment had to withstand coastal humidity and moisture. Copper class 2 was specified for above ground and SABS approved PVC below ground and, of course, equipment had to be stainless steel.

In keeping with the SANS 10400 XA requirements, the hot water generation plant is a central plant consisting of energy-efficient air-to-water heat pumps and heat accumulator tanks. The plant was designed to supply hot water to all hot water fixtures within six seconds at a minimum of 45°C. Better than expected results were achieved.

The plantroom on Cecilia Makiwane consisted of two 3 500ℓ Thermowise heat accumulators manufactured with high-density polyurethane foam panels, sandwiched with two layers of Chromadek.
The accumulators were heated by four 20kW TKRS-200E/N1-MZ-JT Thermowise heat pumps, heating water between 60-65°C and a with a minimum ambient of -15°C. Two 24kW inline heaters were also installed as backup elements.

The supplier of the panels, Gridnic Group, had this video made which shows the field hospital in real life. Enjoy the walk through!


Professional team:

Architect - Jako Skeen - VDO Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Wet Services consulting engineers - Wills, Franklin – Pretorius (Pty) Ltd
Contractor - WBHO
Panels - Gridnic Group
Plumbing contractor and hot water plant - Thermowise

Cecilia Makiwane

Cecilia Makiwane was born in 1880 at the MacFarlane Mission in the Victoria district of Alice in the Eastern Cape. Her father was a teacher and a minister and so she was taught at home before she even entered school. She later attended the Lovedale Girl’s School where she obtained a teacher’s certificate.

In 1898, an experimental nurse’s training school was opened for black nurses at the Lovedale Mission Hospital and in 1902 a three-year nursing course was introduced at Lovedale College. In 1903, Makiwane enrolled, even though she had her teacher’s certificate.

On completion, she, and the other student she enrolled with were sent to Butterworth Hospital for further training to prepare them for the Colonial Medical Council examination. She sat for her final examination for general nurses of the Colonial Medical Council on the 19 December 1907.

On the 7 January 1908, after passing her exams, Makiwane was registered as the first black professional nurse.

In 1912, Makiwane took part in what was probably the first women’s anti-pass campaign. In this campaign, a petition was signed by some 5 000 black and coloured women in the Free State was sent to Louis Botha asking for the pass laws to be repealed.

She resumed work with the Lovedale Hospital and served the hospital for many years until she was granted long leave due to ill health.

After leaving Lovedale, she joined her sister, Majombozi, in Thaba ‘Nchu where she died in 1919 at the age of 39. A statue of Cecilia Makiwane was erected by the nurses of South Africa at the Lovedale Hospital in 1977 and a hospital in Mdantsane Township in the Eastern Cape has been named after her.

In 2002 the government introduced the Cecilia Makiwane Nurse's Recognition Award for healthcare professionals in
her honour.

Credit: www.sahistory.org.za/people/cecilia-makiwane PA

Click here for the latest issue of Plumbing Africa


PA PlumbdrainLogo100 PlumbingOnline150 TP
Director / Editor
External Sales
Internal Sales

Product of

IMD logo White

Interact Media Defined (IMD), is one of South Africa’s leading multi-media magazine publishers READ MORE

Talk to us

JHB T : +27 (0) 11 579 4940
13A Riley Road, Bedfordview,

South Africa 2007


Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy policy

© Interact Media Defined