Bara500 ICU hospital launched

18th March 2021 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer

Bara500 ICU hospital launched

The triage area of the new Bara500 ICU hospital
Photo by: Creamer Media's Donna Slater

Construction company Enza Construction recently completed a new Covid-19 hospital wing – the Bara500 unit – in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital complex using innovative building technology which enabled the company to significantly reduce construction time in comparison to conventional building methods.

The new Bara500 Covid-19 facility has 500 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and is located at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, which is the largest hospital in Africa and third-largest hospital in the world.

The Baragwanath Hospital complex occupies about 173 acres, with about 3 200 beds and employs about 6 760 staff members.

The Bara500 unit comprises 20 wards, a reception and triage area. Each ward has its own ventilation unit and it also includes isolation units. The hospital also has back-up power solutions that use batteries and diesel generators, and uses a large bulk oxygen reticulation infrastructure.

With the surge in hospital admissions brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Gauteng departments of Health and Infrastructure Development embarked on the project to increase its ICU capacity through a national refurbishment and additional build programme.

Enza was commissioned to complete the design and construction of the new Bara500 Covid-19 facility and started work on the project in July 2020, with the last bed handed over in February this year.

Using light steel frame construction to fast-track the project, Enza managed to execute the building of the facility within eight months of being awarded the contract.

The required design services were provided by Mace Project Solutions, MMQS Mace Consultancy, Ruben Reddy Architects, CKR Engineers and Gibb.

Enza Construction CEO Rowan Crowie says the building approach was a collaborative one. “A strong team, together with an engaging relationship with the community, led to the success of the project.”