WITHOUT prejudice, in the wake of the crisis currently griping the local healthcare sector in general, and St Jude Hospital (SJH) in particular, a concern which the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia (PMOSL) himself had also highlighted in his Budget Address for the Financial Year 2018/2019, Interisland Architects and Planners Ltd (IAPL) is particularly grateful to the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) for the demonstration of respect which the Association has shown for the Firm. IAPL has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with medical and health practitioners within the health sector, in terms of design, construction and commissioning of healthcare facilities in Saint Lucia.
It is against this background that as a registered Project Architect possessing requisite experience and institutional knowledge of St Jude Hospital and other primary healthcare facilities on island, I agreed to assist members of the Executive Committee of the SLMDA with formulating a Position Paper for submission to GOSL.
To that end, the SLMDA invited us to tour the Hospital Site on Friday 13th April, 2018 with a team of construction professionals and subsequently convened a Press Conference on 25th April 2018 to present our joint-findings and position, with the Association.
However, it was indeed unfortunate that the PMOSL’s response to critical issues outlined at the time of the Press Conference, amounted to nothing more than diatribe – a vile criticism of the competence and motives of those medical and construction practitioners who had shared professional perspectives on the matter.
Sadly, the PMOSL has failed to appreciate the professionalism exhibited -that in the same way medical practitioners can make a determination on the physical conditions of buildings through onsite inspections.
Perhaps the PMOSL, is also unaware that in the past twenty-five (25) years IAPL, had been directly involved with the conceptualization, design, construction, commissioning and upgrading of many primary healthcare facilities on island including but not limited to:
• Development of Detailed Designs for the Soufriere Polyclinic (2016-2017),
• Development of Final Designs for the Anse la Raye Wellness Centre (2014-2017);
• Development of Final Designs of the OKEU National Hospital (2004-2006);
• Development of Final Site Plans of the National Wellness Centre (2004-2006);
• Redesign/refurbishment of Victoria Hospital Emergency Room (2004-2006);
• Design/construction/commission of the Main Medical Unit at DSCG (2003-2007);
• Implementation of the 1995 Master Plan for St Jude Hospital (1999-2003);
• Refurbish/Convert the Tapion Hotel into the Tapion Hospital (1994-1996).
Without a doubt, among the projects listed above, the Owen King EU National General Hospital (OKEU) was a monumental endeavour for our Team, which was among consortia of firms and individuals who invested hundreds of thousands of professional man-hours from Inception through to the Final Design Stage.
For local/regional consultants including Newel Lewis Broadbridge Associates Ltd (NLBA) in association with Interisland Architects and Planners Ltd (IAPL), Halcrow Group Limited (SLU) and TVA Consultants Ltd (SVG), partnering with the EU counterparts -Sir Frederick Snow and Partners Ltd and David Hutchison Partners Ltd (UK), the opportunity was more complementary than it was seminal. It was a cross-fertilization of technical ‘know-how’.
Appreciatively, the local team comprising NLBA/IAPL and Halcrow Group provided full Architectural and Engineering (A&E) support services, executed the overall site planning strategy. Essentially, we contributed to how the final design was tropicalized and rendered a climatically appropriate design concept for the micro climate of the site.
The local team was also responsible for the design of the building’s fenestration and the ‘brisesoleil’ sun shading device for the exposed facades. The energy efficient strategies employed on the project were also determined at the design stage, when decisions were inexpensive to take and impacted the building’s energy performance in a decisive way. Ultimately, the decisions taken at the design stage, served to commit to a great extent, the building’s life-cycle costs.
Given the threat and impact of natural disaster (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods) on the built environment in the C’bean Region, TVA was engaged as a Check Consultant to provide technical guidance in the area of hazard mitigation specific to PAHO guidelines for design of hospitals and healthcare facilities, particularly the performance of buildings in the immediate aftermath of hazards. On the one hand therefore, the Design Team included, but was not limited to the following firms:
• Sir Frederick Snow & Partners Limited (SFSP) – Consulting Engineers & Lead Consultants, UK;
• David Hutchison Partners Ltd (DHP) – Hospital Architects, UK;
• Healthcare Environments Limited (HCE) – Health Planners, UK;
• Newel Lewis Broadbridge Associates (West Indies) Ltd in Association with Interisland Architects and Planners Ltd (NLBA/IAPL) – Architects, SLU;
• Halcrow Group Limited (HALCROW) – Consulting Engineers, SLU;
• TVA Consultants Ltd (TVA) – Project Technical Advisor/Check Consultant, SVG.
On the other hand, the records of design team meetings, charrettes and presentations between May, 2005 and July, 2006, would have certainly included the following individuals:
• Phillip Martin (SFSP);
• Ken Cooper (SFSP);
• Ken Boreham (SFSP);
• David Hutchinson (DHP);
• Christopher Warren (DHP);
• Nigel Skelton (DHP);
• ElphitheaLemos (DHP);
• Suzanne Forde (HCE);
• Claude Guillaume (NLBA/IAPL);
• Neville Skeete (NLBA/IAPL);
• Mark Hennecart (NLBA/IAPL);
• Mandish Singh (Halcrow);
• EglandFlavien (Halcrow);
• Alison King Joseph (Halcrow);
• Andy Voss – (TVA).
Notwithstanding the retort hurled by the PMOSL recently, be assured that IAPL under the guidance of a “fired up” Mark Hennecart, stands ready and prepared to work in collaboration with the SLMDA and its allies to assist GOSL with “ensuring that we make the best decision for the country and the people in the South of the Island” where the Independence Square is a testimony to the work of our Firm and the resilience and persistence of the citizens of this great part of our country…!