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Agro-Waste made Solar Powered Covid facilities !

Agro-Waste made Solar Powered Covid facilities !

Uttar Pradesh’s Shriti Pandey has constructed two COVID care centres on the outskirts of Patna and Jalandhar, Punjab using stubble. These buildings are inherently thermally insulated and trap carbon dioxide and heat.

The civil engineer took less than 80 days to set up a fully functioning centre in Patna for her client ‘Doctors For You’ (DFY), in collaboration with the Selco Foundation. The second unit was set up in Jalandhar in collaboration with the Batra Hospital. 

One of the highlights is that zero water was used to build the facility, and it entirely runs on solar power. Shriti shares how she achieved the daunting task and is presently building similar structures in other areas.

Reading the signs of worsening climatic conditions and the catastrophe bound to happen in the future due to our current consumption habits, Shriti adopted a technique similar to a European company, Ekopanely, which uses recyclable and vapour permeable construction panels as a building material. 

Shriti makes fibre panels, a sustainable alternative to concrete walls and ceilings, from agricultural waste. The straw core of the Strawcture board is encased in three layers of recycled paper. After the board is installed into a structure, the surface is penetrated and a final finish is applied that prevents rodents from entering the building. The straw panels can last for up to 100 years. The micro-pores created on the panel absorb and retain humidity until the temperature conditions change for the better. The board then releases the humidity, moistening the air inside the room.

Although the structure is made entirely from fibre panels, the look of the facility including washrooms and rooms are like any other conventional building. The team used a lamination technique to make the floors extra durable due to the regular use of disinfectants and sanitization. 

Around 60% of the construction work took place offsite, in Shriti’s workshop. The team opted for using screws and bolts to assemble the pre-done structures instead of welding to save time. It took them five days to put 400 wall panels. They have reduced the weight of the entire foundation by using foam-like material. Both these strategies helped Shriti, Selco and DFY cut down costs. 

Shriti and her team is presently working on introducing foldable and movable partitions for hospitals that can easily be converted into rooms or ICU units. Such structures can be dismantled and reused into smaller structures for primary healthcare centres. 

“To develop mass healthcare infrastructure in rural areas at affordable rates in the long run, we can introduce the foldable partitions at a large scale. Plus an acre worth of residue can fetch the farmers up to Rs 25,000 and simultaneously reduce air pollution by preventing stubble burning. Every 10×4 feet panel uses around 100 kilos of straw. It’s win-win for all,” adds Shriti. 

Reference: The Better India

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