Today’s Solutions: March 03, 2024

Roughly 5 billion people lack any form of safe or affordable surgery, leading to millions of deaths annually worldwide. In response, architects have created a modular, easily replicable surgical facility to provide ambulatory surgical procedures for underserved populations in resource-poor regions.

The first prototype of this humanitarian architecture, which was created through teamwork between Kliment Halsband Architects and Mount Sinai Surgery in New York, can be found in the rural village of Kyabirwa near the equator in Uganda. The site originally lacked potable water, reliable electricity, internet or adequate sanitary facilities, but innovations have overcome these issues. Uninterrupted power is provided by 75 kWp solar panels installed atop the wavy roof, Li-Lead Acid Hybrid battery storage, an onsite generator and intermittent power from the grid.

The team also installed 20 miles of underground cabling with fiberoptic service to provide critical internet connection for telemedicine links to Mount Sinai Surgery in New York, where doctors provide advanced surgical consultation and real-time operating room video conferencing.

Gravity tanks with a filter and sterilization system store well water and intermittently available town water on-site, while water from a greywater system is recycled for toilet flushing and irrigation. The building relies primarily on natural ventilation and is not air-conditioned with the exception of the operating rooms. 

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