the world’s largest solar powered hospital has just opened its doors in haiti and boasts over 1800 solar panels on its elegant and otherwise, stark, white rooftop. haiti’s central plateau is riddled with intermittent flows of energy- a fact that derails the possibilities of large-scale healthcare infrastructure. in the specific region of mirebalais, located 30 miles north of the capital port-au-prince, outages occur for an average of three hours each day. the new hopital universitaire de mirebalais, a venture of partners in health, will cover an area of 205,000 square feet and its 300 beds will assist in correcting a national healthcare system with scarce or disparate resources.
most impressively, however, is the employment of design solutions in the building system as a whole, wherein the building is set to generate more energy than the hospital will consume. even before the complex officially opened, the german-supplied solar panels reportedly produced 139 megawatt hours of electricity- enough to charge 22 million smartphones and offset 72 tons of coal. the architecture is solving myriad problems and composed such that it provides rather than garners resources. the surplus electricity will be funnelled back into haiti’s national grid, a testament to the ability of the built form to create a sustainable system for survival.