SHERA ply in National Heart Centre Singapore
Advertorial on FUTURARC Magazine May-June 2015
Text on National Heart Centre Singapore from ONG&ONG Pte Ltd.
Text on SHERA ply from The Thai Olympic Fibre-Cement Co., Ltd.
The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) is a sustainable and energy-efficient building that has been awarded Green Mark Platinum certification. In line with its function as a health care and medical institution, much thought has been given to the way the building breathes and operates as it has a direct impact on the well-being of the occupants. The architecture aims for a positive, stress-free experience by having an indoor environment that is well ventilated and welcoming.
Wood conveys a sense of warmth and evokes a spontaneous sense of well-being. While this material is commonly utilised in most buildings, what lies beneath the wood surfaces is often overlooked. In line with the centre’s eco-friendly design approach, SHERA ply was chosen for its wood-based panel substrates i.e., the layers beneath. It is a non-asbestos fibre-cement board that has Greener advantages when compared with traditional plywood or medium-density fibreboard (MDF) options.
SHERA ply was used in various parts of the centre with high-pressure laminates (HPL) finishing. Six-millimetre-thick SHERA ply was used for the decorative walls and ceiling applications. The product was also applied to the wooden columns and wood features, including one that segregates the waiting area for the private clientele. The use of this eco-friendly material brings various benefits to the users and the internal environment.
In the event of a fire, occupants can be assured of their safety as SHERA ply does not ignite and does not support the spread of flames, having met the fire safety standards of the local building authority. This feature has been tested in accordance with the British Standard fire resistance requirement and the product is certified as Class 0.
Although there is naturally occurring formaldehyde in the environment, the levels of formaldehyde can be affected by the presence of formaldehyde-containing products, such as medium-density fibre board, particle board and carpet. As it is volatile and evaporates easily, occupants can be exposed to polluted air and possible health risks. This is a concern as patients and users with weaker immune systems can be affected. SHERA ply does not contain any added urea-formaldehyde (NAUF), thus contributing to good indoor air quality that helps reinforce the well-being of the occupants.
Material wastage can be reduced as SHERA ply does not swell, bend or change when exposed to moisture and hot water. The material is durable and displays negligible dimensional change over time. As the material is also termite-resistant, the product has a longer life cycle and this reduces its rate of replacement. In the long run, this can translate into cost savings for the centre. Additionally, SHERA ply’s raw material does not contain silica sand, with recycled material used as a substitute.
People suffering from allergies, asthma or compromised immune systems can be at an increased risk of health problems such as inflammatory and toxic responses when exposed to mould spores and fungus. SHERA ply helps to keep the centre environment sterile, as it is resistant to the growth of mould and fungus, preventing them from growing indoors and on the structural materials. In this way, good indoor air quality can be maintained, reducing the risk of users breathing in harmful particles.