Community Hospital

Achham, Nepal

Community Hospital

Achham, Nepal

The three-phase expansion of Baylapata Regional Hospital is transforming an obsolete medical facility into a model of sustainable rural healthcare. Sharon Davis Design was responsible for both master planning and design of the 30,000-square-foot project, which replaces an existing hilltop campus in Nepal’s Seti River Valley. Its operator, Possible Health, expects total completion in 2017.

The master plan encompasses 14 single-family houses for staff and an 8-unit dorm, as well as new outpatient, emergency, lab, pharmacy, administration, and inpatient buildings. This division into smaller volumes relates Baylapata Regional Hospital to traditional Nepalese construction, and a variety of rooflines and setbacks lend further human scale to the buildings. To minimize expensive shipping to the remote location, structures are erected primarily of rammed earth. The local material’s thermal mass, moreover, represents a focus on passive heating and cooling; an extensive series of clerestories and skylights optimizes daylight and natural ventilation supports energy independence.

Because the hospital cannot rely on imported resources generally, infrastructure also is woven through the master plan. It encompasses water supply and storage, wastewater treatment facilities, and a network of graywater-irrigated terraces as well as bioswales that will manage erosion and runoff from monsoon storms. A 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed on south-facing roofs will be the foremost source of power.