Its construction was based on strict environmental and sustainability rules, both in the selection of the materials and in terms of the technological and constructive process.
The project was designed by Renzo Piano and his RPBW Studio, in collaboration with the TAMassociati Studio. The shared goal was to offer EMERGENCY (alongside the Building division of the humanitarian association) a hospital capable of marrying physical beauty with ethical beauty, i.e. high medical quality and high quality of life. The structure is characterized by its harmonious spatial distribution and highly specialized environment; this is a home for the sick, but also for their families, for the doctors and the entire technical staff.
Zintek played a pivotal role in the construction of the hospital. The company manufactured and installed the roof envelope, as well as the gutters, downpipes, false ceilings and protruding elements.
The hospital was built by combining availability of resources, ease of use and durability over time. This is why zintek® titanium zinc proved to be the ideal material for the specific Ugandan context.
The new Children’s Surgical Hospital in Entebbe rises on a 120-thousand square meter land lot made available by the Ugandan government. It features 50 hospitalization beds, 16 sub-intensive care beds, 6 intensive care beds, 3 operating theatres, a laboratory, a blood bank, a pharmacy, a cafeteria and a laundry room. The “U”-shaped structure is surrounded by a large park with 350 trees, an outdoor playground and a guest house, featuring 42 beds for patients and families traveling from distant regions.
Its development followed an “inclusive” plan: the construction choices were made alongside the people who are destined to experience the daily life and management of the structure. As we are speaking of a children’s hospital, the walls are painted colorfully and include depictions of cartoon characters, and the environments enjoy high levels of natural light. The doctors had the opportunity to discuss the project with the architects, transforming the building site into a laboratory for experimentation involving innovative and sustainable solutions.
In addition to the Renzo Piano RPBW, the project for the hospital, which is the second landmark built by AIME (the African Network of Medical Excellence), also involved the Venetian architectural studio TAMassociati, the EMERGENCY building division and the Milan Ingegneria studio, which worked to support the structural conception side of the project.
The general structure of the hospital is built out of 60-centimeter thick masonry, made of raw earth and other materials to increase its mechanical resistance (the so-called pisé technique).
This traditional technique was re-interpreted in an innovative way to ensure thermal inertia capable of maintaining the temperature and humidity of the building on constant levels.
The solidity of the raw earth walls, which are anchored to the ground, co-exists with the lightness of the structure supporting the steel and titanium zinc roof.
The roof envelope consists of two overlapping functional elements that operate in synergy: the first acts as a thermal, acoustic, water and air enclosure, and is clad in pre-weathered zintek®;
the second, a sort of umbrella, has the function of protecting the building from solar radiation and is entirely covered with 2,670 photovoltaic panels which are capable of meeting most of the energy needs of the building.
The zintek® cladding is struck by direct sunlight only along the central line of the building, occupied by the skylights that provide overhead light to the passageways.
Solar radiation hitting the skylights is partially shielded by the metallic grid that allows workers to access and maintain the upper roof.
The seaming and overlapping details were designed with great care in correspondence with these points of discontinuity in the roof, to ensure maximum continuity and tightness.
The natural ventilation between the two roofs guarantees that heat transmitted by irradiation cannot reach the building, a factor that significantly contributes to energy savings in terms of cooling the structure.
The construction of the roof avoided the use of wood, as this material is too easily attacked by termites, which are common and particularly invasive in Uganda. Thus, when developing the roofing envelope, a high level of attention was paid to avoid using gaps or inlets that could be accessed by termites.
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