Location: Jacmel, Haiti
Client: Red Cross
Program: 50-bed Crisis Hospital
Status: Prototype Design
Jacmle Red Cross Hospital is a prototype for coastal cities at risk of natural disasters, more particularly earthquakes and tsunamis. It is a response to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake that caused a total destruction of health care infrastructure while demand surged.
Haiti’s 2010 earthquake was “the worst disaster ever confronted by the United Nations”. The Magnitude 7.0 earthquake destroyed most of the infrastructure in the affected regions including the Southern town of Jacmel. St. Michel District Hospital, “the largest referral hospital in south-east Haiti” collapsed entirely.9 The response to the disaster was hindered by a number of factors notably the collapse of infrastructure including airports and hospitals, loss of life, and streets blockage by the ruins.2
Even If natural disasters do not cause destruction of health care infrastructure, they result in an imbalance between the supply and demand for resources which can cause further loss of life.10
Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness defines Surge capacity as: “a health care system’s ability to expand quickly to meet an increased demand for medical care in the event of bioterrorismor other large-scale public health emergencies. 11
The proposed prototype advances a new approach to designing hospitals in coastal cities where an earthquake can trigger a tsunami multiplying the loss of infrastructure and life. Located by Jacmel piers the 50 bed hospital will serve as the primary health care facility in the city. The hospital can receive Red Cross Hospital Ships who plug into the hospital for increased capacity during crisis times. Water Isolates the base of the building from earthquake shakes. The hospital is loosely connected to the land through five extensions that would break by the force of an earth quack giving the hospital a full isolation.
Historical data show that Tsunamis are not a significant threat to Haiti. However the hospital ,as a prototype for the red cross, can be towed to the deeper water. The safe tsunami depth for Caribbean Sea is 300 feet. An average Tug boat can travel this distance in less than five minutes while towing the hospital. In deeper waters the autonomous hospital remains fully operational and return to its docking station after the warning is moved. 12