Long before the January 2010 Earthquake in Port au Prince, aid organization Partners in Health had plans to build a regional hospital. Unfortunately, the devastating quake destroyed Haiti’s main teaching hospital in Port-au-Prince and killed an entire class of nursing students. Now that Haiti is on the road to recovery, Partners in Health has scaled up their plans to build a sustainable, state of the art 320 bed teaching facility powered by solar panels. The Mirebalais Hospital was completely redesigned and donated by Nicholas Clark Architects and construction began in July of 2010 and is expected to be complete in January 2012.
The new 45,000 sq ft hospital is located in the Central Plateau region of Haiti in a town called Mirebalais and will serve an estimated 450-500 patients per day. When completed in early 2012, the main medical campus will encompass seven buildings, provide unprecedented medical care for the people of Haiti and serve as an educational facility for the next generation of medical workers. The facility will also include 6 operating rooms, laboratories, microbiology, radiology, and more. Even more amazing is that all of the funds for the hospital have come from direct donations from individuals and firms through Partners In Health and the hospital is expected to cost less than $16 million to build.
According to the philosophy of Partners In Health, the hospital includes a number of sustainable practices. Gardens and courtyards are an integral part of the design to encourage the flow of natural ventilation for cooling as well as to prevent the transmission of tuberculosis and other airborne diseases. Large shading roofs will protect the interior from the hot tropical sun and natural daylighting will primarily be used to conserve energy for hospital equipment. High efficiency ceiling fans and efficient lighting will further reduce energy usage.
Local materials and local labor are being used to construct the facility, including locally manufactured windows and even reclaimed wood from the area to build the waiting room benches. Rainwater will be harvested from the roof for use in irrigation of the native planted gardens during the dry season. And most importantly, the facility will be powered by solar panels on the roof to supplement power generation and ensure that the facility is never without power even during the frequent outages.
Partners In Health is currently seeking skilled tradespeople like carpenters, plumbers, welders/metalworkers, electricians, medical equipment installers and biomedical technicians to volunteer and help build the hospital. The organization is hoping to have volunteers assist with construction starting in July 2011 and hopes that individuals can give at least 8 days worth of their time. Click here to learn more about Partners In Health’s volunteer program to help build a state-of-the-art hospital facility for Haiti.