Concor, an infrastructure and services construction company, successfully completed a fast-track Covid-19 facility at Jubilee Hospital. Futurecon was awarded the contract for the supply and erection of the light steel framing (LSF) for the internal and external walls and roofs, clad, lined and insulated with windows installed. The project was completed in ten weeks, running from 27 July 2020 to 27 September 2020. They have been announced as the winner of this year’s Light Steel Framing Award.

Demanding spec and timeline

The hospital in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, has five 25-bed intensive care unit (ICU) modules, with a two-bed isolation ward and five 35-bed high-care modules.

This was a demanding project with its short timeframe, but by using the appropriate technologies alongside their extensive experience, deadlines were made while complying with national building standards and without compromising safety or quality.

The brief for alternative materials

The brief from the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development called for alternative construction materials to reduce the timeframe of the project.

To ensure quick erection, panels were cladded on site and quickly followed by roof truss installation. This process was facilitated by a specialised team, making up the frames on site and erecting them there. For rapid roll-out, the appropriate wet services and ventilation systems were selected, and future expansion was accommodated, providing a lifespan beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Problems: Poor ground conditions, groundwater, existing buildings and large boulders.

Solutions: Underground services were located and rerouted before the raft slabs could be cast. Flexible working approach and ground preparations demanded more time, but they could refocus activity on another cluster, to keep the progress on track.

The hospital project

The ICU and high-care modules each consist of two separate wings with a central nurses’ station, sluice and ablutions, with central utility areas for offices, storage areas and waiting areas.

The project entailed the supply of 10 000m² of hospital wards and associated buildings, housing beds in general wards, and in high and intensive care.

Futurecon had to hand over 1 000m² of hospital buildings structure per week.

Time-saving materials used

Fibre cement was used for the external cladding, supplied by Etex Group (Marley Building Systems). OSB timber strips were used as a thermal break between the external cladding and the LSF. A vapour permeable membrane was installed around the outside of the wall frames to waterproof and draughtproof the buildings, while allowing any vapour in the wall cavities to escape outwards. A 102mm thick Cavity Bat glass wool insulation was installed in the wall cavities, with 2 x 15mm fireproof gypsum board on the inside, to provide a one-hour fire rating.

With the tight deadlines and by using innovative building technology, and light frame steel technology from Futurecon and its prefabricated panels, this hospital could be successfully completed in a hurry. Even before this project was finished, enquiries were received to upgrade the existing Jubilee hospital, and to supply hospital buildings in sub-Saharan Africa.

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