Innovation and sustainability take to the sky at the 9 300m2 Busamed Bram Fischer International Airport Hospital in Bloemfontein.
Situated adjacent to the airport, this single-storey private hospital consists of 110 beds, four operating theatres, an administration department, coffee shop, consulting rooms, pharmacy, a radiology department and a 24-hour emergency centre. It was officially opened on 5 February 2018 to meet the growing healthcare demands of Bloemfontein and surrounds.
200 000 of Corobrik’s Agate Satin FBX face bricks were used in the construction of the hospital. Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s commercial director, says they are pleased the Corobrik product is contributing towards meeting the increasing healthcare needs nationwide. “The clay face brick is a preferred choice for its various positive attributes that benefit those involved in the development, as well as those using the building for years to come,” says Shangase.
“The clay brick has noise insulation properties, superior thermal comfort and the ability to create a healthy living environment through the prevention of moisture build up. Add to this the brick’s durability, lack of plastering and painting requirements as well as the innate aesthetics, and it’s evident why many healthcare facilities feature Corobrik’s face bricks.”
To meet these requirements, Ruben Reddy Architects were brought on board to design a structure which would be both aesthetically appealing, while considering the hospital’s location. Overseen by Gonzalo Prieto, director at Ruben Reddy Architects, Corobrik’s Agate Satin face brick was selected for external use of the building.
“We had to consider the conditions – the hospital was set to be located close to an airport, and this meant it would be exposed to noise, wind and dust,” explains Prieto. “We wanted a product that was durable and low maintenance to prevent long-term costs, and one that would retain the aesthetics for the lifespan of the product despite the external elements. This is why we selected Corobrik’s face bricks for the building’s façade. It ticked all the boxes.”
The light-yellow hue of the Agate Satin was the preferred tone as the architects were looking for something modern, in line with the hospital’s look and feel. “The red and orange face brick is a much more traditional look but we wanted something a bit different for this project and the Agate Satin seemed the best fit,” continues Prieto. “We liked that we could display the raw nature of the material, showing it as it is. People could actually get up close to the material itself.”
The accessibility of the face brick was further enhanced by the fact that Busamed Bram Fischer International Airport Hospital is a one-storey building, constructed at an unusually low level in accordance with airport requirements.
The noise-abatement properties of Corobrik’s clay face brick range further encouraged its use in this structure, although Prieto said the noise created by aeroplanes was not necessarily a major issue. “We had a specialist acoustic engineer do an assessment of the site and necessary insulation devices were incorporated. However, the noise of the planes tends to dissipate before reaching the building, it was actually the noise of rain that needed to be considered when constructing the ceiling.”
He explained that the hospital configuration, which centred around a courtyard, provides patients and visitors with an intimate, outdoors’ space, while also screens the runway noise from the patients’ wards.
“This hospital is a great reflection of the importance of visual appeal and structural comfort in the recuperation and recovery of patients. We are certain this face brick range will continue to prove itself as the preferred option for hospital construction,” concluded Shangase.