John McAslan + Partners take dental teaching facility and student hub a step closer to construction

Following the completion of Stage 1 of the design programme for the new dental teaching facility / student hub on the Blantyre campus of the University of Malawi College of Medicine, the design team, led by John McAslan + Partners, progressed onto Stage 2. The work that had been completed during Stage 2 was presented to the MalDent Project team on Wednesday 6th January 2021.

The team assembled for the presentation of the Stage 2 Report

The design consortium had undertaken a massive amount of further work and the illustrative materials that were presented really started to bring the planned building to life, particularly for those of us who are not accustomed to involvement in projects of this type. Many of the diagrams provided a 3D perspective which was immensely helpful to allow visualisation of the emerging design.

One of many 3D diagrams that were presented

We were shown multiple sections …

… and elevations …

… followed by a fascinating description of the work that was underway to design the surrounding landscaping, moving from original concepts …

… to a more detailed master plan:

Significant further work had also been completed around the mechanical, electrical and plumbing components of the design …

… including a system to capture significant amounts of rainwater for use in the building – part of the sustainability theme running through the design:

The structural and civil engineering elements have also been developed considerably since the completion of Stage 1 …

… with a very interesting discussion of the design concepts around the foundations to fit with the underlying rock and soil structure:

These were just a few of the areas that were discussed during the two hour presentation.

At the end of the meeting, Chris Platt, Paul East and I stayed on the call for an update discussion with Olivia Welch, a dental student at Dundee Dental School, who is undertaking an intercalated degree in global health and whose dissertation is focusing on this design project in the context of sustainability. You will be able to read about Olivia’s work in a subsequent post.

Chris, Paul and I chatting with Olivia about her dissertation

The finalised Stage 2 report was delivered on 9th February 2021. Subsequently, we were authorised by Scottish Government to re-profile some underspend in the MalDent Project budget to allow an extension of the Stage 2 design work in preparation for a building warrant application in Malawi. In turn, this will strengthen our case when interacting with potential donors for the construction costs.

This new phase of work kicked off with a Zoom meeting on Wednesday 21st April 2021, and the outputs will form the basis of a future post.

Discussing the next phase of the design work

The new facility is drawing ever closer!

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