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Using our expertise to build Africa’s largest COVID-19 temporary hospital

by | Nov 17, 2020

In June this year, we designed and built Africa’s largest dedicated Covid-19 temporary hospital at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa. 

The Western Cape Department of Health commissioned us to transform four exhibition halls into four separate recovery wards for the facility.

Scan Display has worked closely with the CTICC for many years, with the company’s Cape Town branch building exhibition infrastructure and stands for shows like Mining Indaba, Design Indaba Expo, Investec Cape Town Art Fair and Africa Oil Week.

Although building a temporary hospital was not something we had done before, our team of architects, interior designers, quantity surveyors and project managers took on the challenge of creating the hospital’s infrastructure, plumbing and electrical requirements.

The project’s brief included the following specifications:

  • 1 600 running metres of hard wood walling to partition 863 beds
  • Oxygen, electricity, Internet, nurse calling and plumbing for each patient
  • Wired Internet connection to create a paperless facility
  • Over 50 plumbed basins
  • 30 custom-made shower units for staff
  • Extra patient toilets and showers in the marshalling yard, with multiple marquees and covered walkways
  • Nurses stations, a physiotherapy unit, treatment rooms, pharmacies, donning and doffing areas and macerator rooms
  • Signage, patient notice boards, directional signage, and other graphics
Working on the project during lockdown Level 4 was not easy. ‘Site’ meetings went online, with up to 50 participants planning the project via Zoom. With only a two-day notification before the start of the build, Scan Display brought suppliers out of lockdown. Council submissions were made, and Fire Chief approval given, during the build. The company’s production team faced its own set of challenges: wearing hard hats, Perspex visors and masks, and maintaining social distancing added to the build’s complexity.

Our Cape Town Sales Manager, Jane Steel, explains how we were able to put the skills learnt in our industry during the past twenty-plus years to good use:

“Exhibitions and events need thorough planning and creative problem solving when things do not go to plan. Our project management experience was critical in creating this healthcare facility in such a short time frame.”

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