‘Earthship’ as Model for an Urban Co-op Health Clinic?
The Patch Adams Free Clinic of Philadelphia building committee (PAFCP) optioned a five acre parcel in a North Philadelphia neighborhood upon which they plan to build a co-operative health clinic. The desired building typology is an ‘earthship.' The committee teamed with the Philadelphia University Architecture Program to explore both the site and prospective clinic. The charge was for the students to explore and propose designs for an energy efficient, urban co-operative health clinic.
Design research explored the following categories: 1) the earthship as an energy model, 2) the earthship as a health clinic model, and 3) the earthship as a community building model.
This paper summarizes the student/ faculty research and the common approaches found in the seventeen group design solutions. Baseline energy modeling of a typical earthship is compared to a conventional clinic building type and basic student solutions to understand its performance and potential use. The conclusion presents findings on the viability of this building typology as model for an urban health clinic.