July 1, 2012

Project: Al Mafraq Hospital and Dialysis Center In Abu Dhabi, UAE

With sixty eight dialysis treatment stations, The Al Mafraq Dialysis Center is the first in a wave of such centers owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) to be built by Stantec/Burt Hill in Abu Dhabi. “The design is a fusion of historic Arabic elements and a modern architectural language that promotes a calming, healing environment that is functionally efficient,” says Erik Hokanson, principal and practice leader of Stantec’s Dubai office.

The role of medicinal herbs Arabic history is referenced as a guiding design principle for different areas of the facility’s interior. Private dialysis stations are arranged in pod-like configurations with sixteen back-to-back beds so nurses are better able to attend to patients.

“It’s become evident that a healthier building can have an effect on the health of its inhabitants, ” says Hokanson,”so green design features such as access to natural light and appropriate material work toward both of those goals.”

In the desert, sustainability is mainly related to the natural light, water conservation, and efficient heating/cooling systems. Typical dialysis center design for nurses stations, for example, was reversed, so patients can look outside during treatment and drink in the  natural light. A dynamic metal and glass sunscreen shields patients from the sun, yet allows for natural light and privacy.

Though not required when the Al Mafraq projects were designed – Abu Dhabi has just begun implementing sustainability guidelines and standards similar to LEED, called Estidama – the project largely adhered to sustainable principles. Still, Al Mafraq’s interior includes many sustainable products from linoleum flooring and acoustical ceiling tiles to low VOC paints.

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