Epicenter Buildings seek to provide the following spaces; a Food Bank, a General Meeting Hall, a Rural Bank, a Clean water source, Public Latrines, a Health Center, Food Processing Units, a Youth Friendly Corner and Classrooms.
They are integrated multi – purpose community buildings that bring together spaces that support the community to address various issues that affect them. It is because of this that the building design concepts strive to support community interaction.
The proposed site is in Vubwi District, East of Zambia. This Eastern Province lies along an escarpment known as Muchinga, and it is because of this disposition that it has a mountainous endowment. It was therefore an easy decision to use the form of a mountain range for the concept, while at the same time marrying it with weaving. Weaving is a technique predominantly practiced by most if not all of Zambia’s provinces in everyday household objects; from reed mats to baskets.
Food Processing Unit.
The wish is that this curvilinear form of the proposed buildings meshes in harmoniously with the beauty of the mountainous locale and have it almost disappearing against the natural backdrop of the range.
The glazing on the General Meeting Hall, the Bank Hall and the Clinic frontages upon approach will also reflect the outside and create a mirage of an environment somewhat not yet disturbed.
General Meeting Hall, Rural Bank and Clinic.
Classrooms are mostly donned by curvilinear roofs, large walkways and large windows; all characteristics of an airy space perfect for cross ventilation.
For the Youth Friendly Corners, two types of amphitheaters were proposed; one covered and another exposed to the elements where fresh air and sun can be enjoyed during strolls through the herb and veggie gardens.
Supporting facilities include; Public Latrines, a Windmill Water Pump and Photovoltaic panels for electricity power supply. It is also worth noting here that because Zambia is in the Southern Hemisphere, panels are advised not to lay flat but at an angle while facing True North for optimal output.
Windmill Water Pump.
The above might just barely begin to scratch the surface of “Green Building”, but it’s a good start nonetheless. Additionally, at least 80% of the materials are to be sourced from within the district as building through optimum utilization of locally available resources is highly encouraged.
Other Green design techniques to be practiced are water harvesting during the rainy season, and the use of a green roof; this is meant to be a feature that sets the tone for all other self sustaining activities at the center. Patches on the roof will be reserved to grow herbs and vegetables, particularly for the Food processing Unit and the Food Bank.