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Community Healthcare Center in Rural India

SITE: Angara (Ranchi, Jharkhand)

 

SITE CONTEXT:

Authorities decided to upgrade village’s Primary Health Care centre to CHC 3 years back. It has been on papers since then. The requisite 1:4 ratio of CHC to PHC is surpassed by 25 sub-centres that are controlled by this health centre. This is the only CHC that caters to the crowd from 95 panchayats, thus generating an immense ground for growth.

RESPONSE :

Vernacular traditional setting imbibing pockets of peace. Reflection of age old technologies and systems into the building’s fabric. Providing visual relief through play of light, shadow and colours. Building orientation to maximise wind flow and minimise glare.

CONCEPT :

A place, not just to cure people of physical illness but to release mental pressure through creation of healing architecture. Incorporation of greenery and natural light within the building fabric to deliver cure through environment loving design.

DESIGN STRATEGY :

Drawing inspiration from prevailing layouts of dwellings in order to utilise the available climatic conditions at its best. Controlled views of external surroundings through use of vernacular elements like bamboo mesh and manually adjustable thatch screens. Alternate open and semi open spaces to drive out gloomy corners and integrate healing architecture. Zoning of spaces w.r.t the privacy needed. Dedicated routes for Doctors away from public areas. Separate emergency entry. Mini waiting zones to prevent confusion and provide hassle free system for patients. Respite to patients by providing external views through alternate glass roofs. Use of double glazed convex profile glass in roof to allow light and restrict glare as well as to provide visual comfort to patients.

SUSTAINABILITY :

Satisfying the building’s energy demands with use of passive cooling and heating systems. A biogas plant to generate electricity through human wastes. Hollow concrete and bamboo columns to direct rainwater from inclined roof to ground. Locally produced compressed earth blocks to incorporate traditional mud architecture in a better way. Boulders and stones from nearby Subarnarekha river to form plinth. Wind catcher to provide regular air exchanges in the most used zone of the building. Using thrown away glass bottles to create a tinted wall allowing natural light. Adjustable thatch screens as walls in corridors to allow manually controlled light during day and prevent entry of mosquitoes in night. Specially designed windows with adjustable panel at top to suffice varying

shading angles at different times. Photo voltaic panels in roof to generate solar power. PVC sheets covered pathways to allow natural light. Landscaping through herbal gardens provide natural cures. With low thermal mass due to limited use of concrete, lesser carbon footprint is generated.

ECONOMIC ASPECTS:

The vernacular aspect of the design and modification of age old devices to suit to today’s needs makes it low in budget. Use of locally available materials- bamboo, thatch, stones and rammed earth generates employment opportunities and reduce total building cost and embodied energy- applicable for higher GRIHA rating. The high initial cost of providing geothermal system will be countered by its long economic as well as environmental benefits.

ENERGY CONSERVATION:

Energy controlled design with use of vernacular elements, CSAB blocks, skylights, double roof system, geothermal passive heating and cooling system and jali works. Small turbines in basins to produce hydro-power. Photo-voltaic panels in roof at alternate bands with double-glazed convex profile glass. Wind catcher to suffice air circulation .Reduced dependency on mechanical devices by lowering interior temperatures through materials used.

GRIHA RATING:

Design incorporates existing trees; has water percolating cover; minimalistic air pollution as basic material is rammed earth; water preservation and collection; optimised energy performance through use of solar panels, wind catcher, hollow columns, thatch screens and stabilised earth blocks; Use of bio wastes for power generation; usable hot water as a by-product from geothermal cooling; barrier-free design.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS:

NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT for new-borns who are otherwise given referrals to higher hospitals, backing up  the scheme “kangaroo mother care”- to keep child close to mother. Herbal gardens in green spaces to provide natural healing and cure. Casualty ward in emergency unit to provide immediate and basic aid to victims before referring to higher centre.  Anti-Retroviral Therapy centre for people suffering from AIDS and counselling room.