Afromusing points us to an inspiring and practical example of sustainability principles in the design of a solar energy system for a hospital in Sudan. While at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha last month, Afromusing's Juliana met Manuel Toscano, who works for EMERGENCY USA:
We talked shortly about solar power being a great technology for use in remote areas. He filled me in on a hospital that was designed using the following guiding principles.
- The idea of a “hollow” space and a pavilion-based system;
- The choice of the best possible technology given the context;
- The search for an ethical language for this type of architecture.
Hollow spaces...context-sensitive technologies...architecture as an expression of ethical discourse...! Talk about thinking outside the box! The elaboration of these profound principles is a must-read for anyone seriously looking for concrete evidence that sustainability principles really work--even in the most unlikely places. Download the PDF document and see for yourself.
I hope someone at EMERGENCY is closely monitoring and documenting the performance of Salam hospital's energy system and the architectural design. Assessments of the benefits and costs--tangible and intangible--at local and national levels will also be helpful. At the very least, such intelligence can be used to determine whether, and to what extent, these simple but effective novelties are indeed superior to conventional approaches in similar contexts. If you have been tracking this space, it won't be hard for you to predict that following EMERGENCY's guidelines will consistently lead to cool, comfortable buildings in the tropics. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to build Salam's energy efficient, solar powered hospital, bringing effective medical services to 14 year-old Sunia and all others who need it in Sudan and beyond.