The $2.4 billion Sidra Medical and Research Centre in Doha combines cutting-edge technology with an incandescent design that is heavily grounded within the concepts of natural and comfortable healing.

The brainchild of world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli, Sidra is a modern structure of steel, glass and white ceramic tile, purposefully designed to be a benchmark for healing environments throughout the world. 

The 38 hectare facility incorporates a nine-storey hospital with 512 beds, a seven-storey clinic, accommodation for 350 nurses and a parking facility to cater for 2,000 vehicles—this is not a small piece of infrastructure.  

As is the case with all healthcare projects, designing for occupant comfort and for optimal Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is paramount, however, the sheer size and cost of this project meant it also came with the stringent construction and material specification procedures typical of a building of its scale.  

Building materials that are cost effective and easy to install aren’t always the best performing, but at least when it came to the insulation for Sidra’s HVAC ducting and condensate pipework, the KEO International mechanical consultants were blessed with Sekisui’s ever-available Thermobreak®.

Thermobreak® is a flexible thermal insulation made from physically crosslinked closed cell polyolefin foam with a reinforced aluminium foil facing and, as assured by the Sidra design team, is a great “all-in-one” insulating solution for healthcare environments with proven reliability in the Middle East.

Starting with its suitability for healthcare buildings, Thermobreak® is fibre free, VOC free, non-irritant, odourless, will not support bacterial growth and is an inherent vapour barrier. Combined with its industry leading insulating properties, all of these attributes contribute to the primary goal of healthcare design; better comfort, wellbeing and productivity for building occupants.

While the performance properties of Sekisui’s Thermobreak® are well-known, its easy and efficient installation should not be understated, particularly with a building of Sidra’s scale and for those looking to deliver high-rate health infrastructure at an affordable price.

Thermobreak® is easily cut and drilled and can be specified with an optional repositionable tissue acrylic adhesive backing. This means it is not only easy for a contractor to install, but if the contractor does make an alignment error, it can also be lifted off the duct numerous times without tearing.

The sweeping architectural form, spectacular atriums, indoor healing gardens and water features of the Sidra Medical and Research Centre will be the talk of the health infrastructure sector for some time. But as with all healthcare projects, it is the smaller details, like the plethora of carefully selected building materials, which are the driving force behind the performance of the building. 

At the unveiling of the design in 2007, Cesar Pelli remarked that the facility will be “one of the most important medical and research centres in the world.” Some might say that Pelli’s spectacular design has already achieved this but others will wait to analyse the building’s IEQ, usability and occupant feedback before agreeing.  Whatever the case, Sidra Medical and Research Centre has benefitted from the performance and useability of building materials such as Sekisui’s Thermobreak® and will continue to do so for years to come. 

To learn more about Sekisui’s Thermobreak® download their free selection guide on Thermal Insulation for Piping & Mechanical Systems here