The State of Qatar has an important role in the field of health-care in the region and rectifies this role in erecting the National Health Laboratories of Qatar. The design was based on three factors: site integration with respect to the Master plan and climatic conditions; functional distribution to achieve optimum spatial use; and, an outstanding quality of architectural design that gives the building its iconic character and comfortable and friendly working environment.
Each of the laboratory divisions (Food Safety Lab Chemistry, FS Lab Microbiology, FS Lab Radiation, FS Lab for Water, Drug and Safety Lab, DPCS, Environmental Health and Protection Lab, Reference Standards and Testing and BSL3) is arranged in a similar pattern and have been established for an effective generic room layout that will suit the needs for the majority of the laboratory requirements, that can be expanded though the combination of modules. With modularity in mind, potential reorganizations one of the most important aspects of this design was preventing the cross contamination between different departments without disrupting the work flow of integrated facilities.
The National Health Laboratory is a project that complies with the 3-star GSAS level, during the Letter of Conformance (LOC) stage.
When the world is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, and several clinic trials are ongoing to find a vaccine, Laboratories and medical research centers are key projects to test and develop new medical technologies. The national health laboratories of Qatar will be the place of innovation and incubation of new ideas. The building itself reflects this completely by its Design, modularity, and hazardous labs complexity.
The project, led by Focus Design Partners is one of the first labs in Qatar using the building information modeling BIM, in which the client, architect, engineers, and contractor are all responsible for project development, coordination and stakeholder engagement. Several factors made the project especially challenging to meet higher-than-usual standards. The architectural design is based on dividing the spaces into departments depending on the functioning and connection restrictions between laboratories.
The Mechanical Engineering Design was challenging due to Systems for hazardous exhaust and specialty gas requiring special piping systems, the building needed denser-than-usual ceiling cavities. This necessitated constant coordination between designers and Engineers to avoid clashes and ensure that systems routing is meeting the project’s high design and performance aspirations.
Understanding space and its management was key to ensuring that the building’s complex lab infrastructure, including pipe and duct systems, were fully coordinated with the architectural and structural design.
The complexity of the hazardous laboratories architectural layout, and the Mechanical engineering requirements are the challenges that made the National health Laboratories unique and deserves to win the award.