At KOMPIAN in Papua New GuineaIn 2007
Local partners: Dr David Mills
Donors: PNG Government
This is the largest project undertaken by AWF to date. It is based on collaboration between AWF and Engineers Without Borders. Located in Enga Province about 5 hours drive from Mount Hagen, which is the entry point to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Kompian Hospital currently has 38 beds. This project will expand the number of beds to 70, as well as providing improved facilities for wards, dispensary, and outpatient wing and operation theatres.
The site is extremely remote, made more inaccessible by the condition of the roads and the steep terrain - the last 35km to the site takes 2.5hrs to travel. This makes transportation of materials to the site an issue. As all the building materials have to be transported by road from Mount Hagen, the palette is limited. Metal roof and wall cladding on timber framing (with detailing in mind for termites) and glass louvers are great for transport and light but difficult to keep clean, so the team are exploring possibility of materials such as crime safe.
Further challenges in the design include a limited electricity supply (only 3hrs by generator per day, supplemented by solar power), availability of materials, vandalism, termites, cleaning/ hygiene, a preference for new materials over traditional, a perception that ‘new’ has permanence and the performance of modern materials in an equatorial climate.
The project was originally supervised by Catherine Love and the late Dennis Small, and models and drawings were done by AWF volunteers. These were handed over to Nettleton Tribe Architects who are doing the construction documentation for the hospital in a pro-bono capacity. Currently the focus is on the pediatric ward for which funding has been sourced from the PNG government, and which will begin construction in December 2009. Lilian Aril, from Nettleton Tribe, is working closely with the structural engineer, Tamri Curran, from Bilfinger Berger Services, who are volunteering their expertise to the project through Engineers Without Borders.