Orphanage Essay

This orphanage is placed in a location with a very bad climate. The orphanage where consists of a small medical Centre, administrative areas, bathrooms, a dining hall, and a kitchen, accommodates the kids and staff. On the first floor, some terraces, classrooms and some blocks around a middle courtyard in the classical style of Malian and West-African architecture are designed for children’s activities. The designers for functional, environmental and financial reasons, decided not to consider air conditioning systems and any kind of fan. Because of these purposes, the design of the project is based on 3 theories which would warranty creating of a perfect and comfortable atmosphere within the orphanage [8].

The first theory is designing in a way to reduce solar warmth gaining. To do so, an extra roof is designed over the building to prevent direct sunlight into the rooms. Furthermore, the additional roof keeps the terraces that are designed on the first floor, from the direct sunlight and makes them an appropriate area for children to do their daily activities.

The second theory is to increase the thermal mass of the walls. To do that, all the walls are built from “H”-form concrete blocks. Then, the empty part of the blocks which is located in the middle of them, are filled with Banco which is a made of clay and grain cereals. Banco is a material that simply is found in Mali and is famous because of its powerful thermal features. Finally, Gabion cladding is used to cover the opened façades.

The third and last theory is generating natural ventilation in the building. To do so, the designers have been tried to make the air circulation better by the layout of the blocks. It means that every block's vent grills make it possible to have passive cooling and natural ventilation [9].

Since the orphanage is built out of the village and is a bit hard to have access to services, the architects tried to design it self-sufficient. Hence they have considered Photovoltaic panels on the rooftop to create electricity and also reused wastewater for agriculture and fishing. This program produces food and fruit for the orphanage and also makes it possible to do educational activities in fish farming and market gardening fields.

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