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» An Eco-friendly Hospice

Ganga Prem Hospice: An Eco-friendly Hospice

As the time for construction nears, the Hospice team is busy with numerous preparations. Obtaining the necessary building permissions from the government has proved to be the biggest headache and along with that, detailed costing and construction time schedules are being compiled by our volunteer project management firm in Ahmedabad.

As the costing is being considered, Ganga Prem Hospice has started to seriously look into renewable energy systems and environmentally responsible waste management options to minimize the footprint of the facility on the surrounding environment. As a responsible and spiritually orientated organization, Ganga Prem Hospice wants to help preserve the cleanliness and sanctity of the Ganga river and the Himalayan foothills in every possible way.

A 3D rendering of Ganga Prem Hospice

Waste Management

The Hospice has found a staunch ally in the Rishikesh based charity organization Clean Himalaya. Clean Himalaya has already provided invaluable advice to Ganga Prem Hospice and has promised ongoing support and education in the field of waste management. GPH plans to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible, and to implement a firm policy whereby the Hospice will not litter or pollute the nearby Ganga river or the surrounding habitat.

GPH will segregate its waste at the source and sell recyclable waste to local buyers. Organic waste will either be composted or given to local livestock, and the option of a biogas system whereby kitchen waste is converted to fuel for cooking is currently being researched. The Hospice is already working with a medical waste disposal company which will remove medical waste from the site and is researching municipal and private options for disposal of non recyclable waste. To avoid air pollution, no waste, organic or otherwise, will be burnt on the site.

Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Ganga Prem Hospice will back its waste management policy with a sustainable purchasing policy and will do its best to avoid the purchase of products made from non recyclable materials. Use of plastic and disposable products will be avoided as much as is possible, while efforts to reuse and recycle will be given primary importance. Purchase of durable goods made by local industries and goods made from recycled materials will be given precedence over cheaper and less long lasting products.

Wastewater Management

Ganga Prem Hospice intends to use a decentralised wastewater treatment system (DWWT) to treat wastewater and thereby protect the groundwater and the Ganga river. The Hospice will be working in partnership with the Centre for Science and Environment who will provide the technical support. The DWWT will be a natural/biological system which will not require any chemicals or electricity to treat the wastewater. The system will have the ability to treat black and grey wastewater for use in watering the garden.

Energy Efficiency Measures

The Ganga Prem Hospice in-patient facility has been creatively designed to reduce energy consumption and optimize the use of natural light and ventilation so that a centralized heating or cooling system will not be necessary.

A solar water heating system
Photovoltaic solar panels will provide a significant portion of the building's energy needs, while grid and generator backup will also be used in a threefold energy producing system. LED lighting will be installed throughout the facility. A domestic solar water heating system will provide for the totality of the Hospice's hot water requirements. GPH is currently researching biofuel backup generator options.

Use of insulation in the walls and ceilings, high performance glazing for windows and strategic planting of deciduous trees around the building will be among the methods used by the Hospice to control the heating and cooling effect of the changing seasons.

Eco-friendly Site Plan

In order to mitigate disruption to the local microclimate, no asphalt will be used on the site. Instead, pathways will be made of permeable pavers, to help water percolation and mitigate the heat island effect. Swales will be dug to direct the storm water into the garden areas and away from the building.
There are very few trees on the Ganga Prem Hospice site at present but the few there are will be protected during and after the construction process. Once the building is finished, an ayurvedic herbal garden, flower gardens, quiet healing gardens for contemplation and meditation, and flowering and healing trees will be planted around the building to give the facility a natural and calming ambience.

We are still working on our environmental plans and Friends of Ganga Prem Hospice are invited to write in with any suggestions that they might have as to how the Hospice can best live in harmony with its natural surroundings and contribute to the healing process of the global environment.

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