The R3bn Dr. Pixley Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital in KwaMashu north of Durban, originally scheduled for completion by November, has been fast-tracked to open by June to manage the Covid-19 pandemic response in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The entire professional team is making a concerted effort to meet the revised timeframe,” comments Rod Stagman, technical director, Aurecon (currently rebranding as Zutari).
Located near the new Bridge City Mall mixed-use precinct, the hospital is expected to alleviate the pressure on the overburdened Mahatma Gandhi Memorial and Addington Hospitals. It will provide healthcare services to 1.5 million people in the KwaMashu, Inanda, Ntuzuma and surrounding communities in northern Durban.
SA's largest public healthcare facility
The largest hospital currently in development in South Africa, it will also be one of the largest public healthcare facilities upon its completion, according to Clinton Crowie, executive director of main contractor Enza Construction. The 500-bed regional hospital was named in honour of Dr. Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, one of the country’s first black lawyers and a founding member of the African National Congress (ANC).
Aurecon has been involved with the flagship project as structural engineer since it broke ground in 2015. The Aurecon Cape Town building team developed Revit models as part of a BIM approach to the project to improve delivery by means of enhanced efficiencies and increased cost-savings. “Such 3D modelling is definitely the way to go, especially in terms of facilitating clash detection,” Stagman points out.
Construction of the 65,000m2
hospital commenced in January 2015, employing 1,800 workers, of which 1,100 were local community members. The project has racked up notable statistics, such as 42,000m2
of concrete, 136,000m2
of formwork, including post-tension, coffer and flat slabs, 5,300 tonnes of reinforcement and 35,000m2
of vinyl laid on 2mm self-levelling screed.
Among the sustainability features incorporated in the design by TV3 Architects of Cape Town are a special rain harvesting system for ablution and irrigation requirements. Aurecon has collaborated closely with the architect since the inception of the project.
This included ensuring that the final design complied with the latest requirements and regulations from the Department of Health. “There were a lot of design iterations, which posed a particular challenge for the professional team in terms of coordination,” highlights Stagman.