For the FuturArc Showcase, we highlight two winning projects of the FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2011—Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore and the Suoi Re Multi-functional Community House in Vietnam.
Both seek to enhance the well-being of their respective communities, albeit in different ways. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is an integrated healthcare facility that boasts state-of-the-art, energy-efficient strategies and passive design features that make it a truly holistic and sustainable project. Additionally, the hospital's expansive, self-sustaining garden spaces and landscaping have become characteristic of it being a "hospital in a garden"—therapeutic spaces that help in its patients' healing. Suoi Re Multi-functional Community House represents the community aspects of Green building—a project that was done by the community, for the community. It embodies the collective effort of the village that came together to construct a place to call their own, using local resources and traditional 'green' methods.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) is a 550-bed acute hospital designed with a focus on patients' needs and a careful consideration for environmental sustainability. Located in the north of Singapore, the integrated healthcare facility spans over 3.4 hectares and overlooks Yishun Pond. Its design incorporates natural ventilation and exterior envelope strategies as part of a Total Building Performance approach to minimise operating costs and enhance patient comfort, while bringing together elements of accessibility, comfort and convenience. From intuitive way finding to logical clustering of clinics and ancillary services, the focus is to provide a hassle free experience for patients and staff.
It is a long-standing tradition for Alexandra Health to create and maintain garden spaces that help in its patients' well-being and healing. Thus, KTPH is continuing this legacy by incorporating expansive gardens and landscaping in its grounds, creating a hospital in a garden, a therapeutic environment for healing.
KTPH is designed to have three building blocks overlooking a central courtyard at Level B1 and Level 1, which is the "heart of the hospital". It brings light and greenery into the basement, and also acts as an orientating device. The three blocks consist of a seven-storey tower for Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOC), an eight-storey Private Ward Tower (PWT) and a 10-storey Subsidised Ward Tower (SWT). All three are adjacent to eight roof gardens, five levels of corridor planters and 81 balcony planter boxes. To suit the local climate, tropical (i.e., Southeast Asian) plants are the main choice for a sustainable eco-system. Low-maintenance characteristics are a must. Water from the adjacent Yishun Pond is channelled to the hospital's irrigation system and treated for landscaping needs. To prevent water wastage, rain sensors are installed. This gives a near-50 percent savings in the projected consumption cost, a significant benefit to KTPH's operations.
Applying the sustainable concept in the gardens of KTPH is derived from three principles: first, establishing the gardens in practical and self-sustaining ways; second, creating gardens with nature and people in mind; and third, implementing energy- and resource-efficient as well as environmentally-friendly landscape features. The hospital has 'landscape footprints' at every floor to ensure patients and employees are constantly treated to garden views from different angles, offering a calming surrounding that soothes and rejuvenates.
SUOI RE MULTI-FUNCTIONAL COMMUNITY HOUSE: FORGING TIES
The increasing socioeconomic disparity between urban and rural areas due to urbanisation and economic development has made social relationships increasingly loose and in danger of disintegration. In the remote villages, having spaces for communal activities, kindergartens, health care stations, post offices, libraries and so on is seen to be a luxury instead of necessity.
It is no different for the people of Suoi Re village: All year round most of them travel to towns and cities to earn a living; the rest stay home and grow rice. The struggle for a better life leaves little time for anything else. The villagers have no time to care about education, cultural and/or spiritual development of their own or their children's.
Thus, the multi-functional community house was created to fill in the gap. It is hoped that the villagers will use the space for activities and programmes that will strengthen community ties.