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Medical Prototype Designed For Rural Uganda

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A Step Towards Circular Economy

Ecological systems have been surviving on earth for a long time and will continue to exist in the far...

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Shreya Jindal
Shreya Jindal
Shreya Jindal is an Architecture student from MBS school of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She has an avid interest in learning about new advances and innovations in the field. According to her, Architecture is a lot about understanding the psychology of the built form and the people and surroundings around it. She has tried her best to reflect the same in her writings and is hopeful that readers will be inspired by how architecture evolves living.

Rural town on the Nile has been recently introduced with a new medical facility that brings surgery to underserved areas. The Kyabirwa Surgical Facility is the project unveiled with Mount Sinai Health Systems which can be replicated to other rural areas of Uganda.

New York-based Kliment Halsband Architects has designed this prototype with every possible sustainable feature that could benefit the surroundings of the project. The structure incorporates solar panels over the steel frame which also acts as a beautiful sunshade over the courtyard of the building. Because of the limited potable water, reliable electricity, internet network, and sanitation facilities in the rural area, the architects came up with many different and crucial solutions. The use of locally available materials, rainwater collection systems, and fiber optic connection to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for real-time consultation and training has really helped in the betterment of the project.

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The solar canopy ensures reliable energy supply which made air conditioning possible in the operating rooms. Local bricks are used as it is the most commonly manufactured material of the region, instead of importing any building material; it has helped to support the local economy. Underground cables have been installed to make sure of a stable internet connection which helps local doctors with the real-time operating room video link.

Lithium lead-acid hybrid battery storage, onsite generator and grid power supply help with 75kWp of power supply with can run the facility for two days. Potable water and available town water are stored in gravity tanks which are filtered and sterilized according to the demand. Liquid waste management is handled through onsite septic tanks and medical waste is incinerated as per the country’s health code.

Rainwater is retained through a greywater system that is stored in underground tanks which are used for toilet flushing and vegetable garden. The whole building, with the exception of operating rooms, relies on natural ventilation. The sloped roof helps in maintaining the natural airflow through the various opening using the stack effect, hence minimizing the use of electricity for cooling.

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“Regionally-sourced bricks are composed in complex patterns of varying densities, forming screens that let in light and air to solid walls,” says Kliment Halsband Architects’ press release. “The bricks and cladding tiles used in the facility were made from red clay dug directly out of the ground near the building site and fired in a local kiln. Brick was utilized in this project because of its availability, its historical presence in the area, and the potential to support the local economy through its use.”

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