Local time: Monday, 27 January 2020 22:09:42hrs
I am looking for: 

Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development (MIH)




The Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital is located 75 kilometres south of Gaborone, and is rated as one of the major developments by the Government of Botswana.  The project has been described by the project’s lead consultants, as one of the major projects of national importance in the recent past. The Hospital was completed and handed over to the client in 2009 and officially opened on July 6, 2010.


The Brief of the new hospital was detailed, recognizing the propensity for mental healthcare facilities to be of lower standards in comparison to general hospitals; not only in Botswana, but Africa and the world in general.  The brief was also tailored to change this stereotype.


Members of the design team took a reconnaissance tour to mental health care facilities in the United Kingdom to familiarize themselves with design aspects required of such a modern and complex health institution.


The new Lobatse Mental Hospital [later named] SBRANA PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, will thus be a far cry from the current one, also in Lobatse, whose condition is in need of upgrading and cannot fully cater for the requirements for proper mental healthcare.


Though initial proposal was to upgrade the existing hospital in Lobatse, the scope of works and the extensive requirements of the development made it more feasible to, instead, put up a new facility.


The new hospital is located on a 12.5 hectare plot about a kilometer away from the current one and provides for a complete range of facilities which generally includes administration offices, wards, day hospital, outpatient department, laboratories, pharmacy, an occupational therapy complex and utility buildings, with a total floor area exceeding 40,000.00 square metres.




Aspects peculiar to mental health institutions such as the need for segregation of patients and provision of adequate security, feature prominently in the design. All these developments in designs were done in recognition of the fact such an institution will be housing a wide spectre of patients of differing mental states including aggressive, forensic and the elderly. In addition, this is a consideration of great importance for such a development having taken note of the suicidal tendencies of some psychiatric hospital patients.


The acute ward, for example, is further divided into children’s, adolescents’ and adults’ wards which are also further segregated for male and female patients.

The rooms have been designed to individually accommodate few patients, with the largest room having a capacity of eight patients, though the anticipated general occupancy is one to two patients per room.  The development is a 300 – bed facility with five wards namely observation, acute, rehabilitation, psycho-geriatric and forensic wards.


The hospital has been generally zoned into two parts – outpatient and inpatient.  The outpatient part of the hospital will include the day hospital, outpatient department, psychology and sociology, occupational therapy, laboratory, pharmacy and administration complex.  The occupational therapy zone consists of patients’ library; occupational therapy complex (comprising metal and woodwork shops, music practice, etc); sports field, vegetable garden and a “kgotla” specifically designed to afford the patients interaction between themselves, staff and relatives.  The inpatient part of the hospital meanwhile consists of the Observation Ward, Psycho-geriatric Ward for the elderly, the Acute Ward, Forensic Ward and the Rehabilitation Ward which has been located near the Occupational Therapy Complex as patients within this ward will be allowed more access.


In addition, facilities like “black” and “white” space to be used by the general public for stress management have been incorporated into the project in an attempt to counter the misconception that such a facility is reserved for the mentally unstable.


Material Selection


The choice of materials has been determined by the underlying themes in the different areas within the hospital such that the children’s wards are to be finished in bright colours, the adults’ wards in more subdued shades; while the psycho-geriatric wards for the elderly will be defined by the prevalence wood to generate a warmer and homely feeling.  The wards are to be finished in special anti-graffiti paint, having taken note of the relatively high level of abuse and vandalism in psychiatric hospitals.  Courtyards have been extensively used in the design, recognising the need for psychiatric patients to be in constant touch with the ground for therapeutic value.  Every ward therefore is characterized by one of these courtyards.  This is further complemented by appropriate landscaping and water features, also considered to have therapeutic qualities. 


Energy Saving Considerations


Design for energy efficiency is one of the most important aspects of the project.  Instead of the conventional window - mounted air-conditioning units or air-conditioning by moving cooled air in insulated ducts, a high efficiency chilled water system is used.  Chilled water is pumped from the chiller plant to fan coil units in the building, which deliver cool air to the spaces without consuming much energy.  In addition, to complement the mechanical cooling, free cooling from night ventilation is used in all the administrative buildings to further reduce the cooling load.


 Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital has opened a new chapter in mental healthcare from both the design, equipment and facilities perspective. 


It has been designed to reflect the function and image of an important national referral hospital without necessarily being extravagant as is to be discernible from the impression of the exterior’s finish and aesthetics.  The complex’s combination of three, double and single storey structures is predominantly finished to the exterior in wall coating and face bricks, but it also features curtain walling glazing and cladding.








Printable version
Copyright © 2011 Government of Botswana. All rights reserved.