Design Open Mic: The West Oakland Health Center + Rainwater Harvesting at Bay Area Schools

Design Open Mic: The West Oakland Health Center + Rainwater Harvesting at Bay Area Schools

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • May 24, 2011
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We couldn't have been more pleased about the lineup from our May 18th Design Open Mic session. First up, from Architecture for Humanity's very own San Francisco chapter, we had Lindsay Toscano, Lauren Reichenbach, and Katie Elmore presenting their work on the West Oakland Health Center.

To give some background, the West Oakland Health Center is a non-profit health provider in one of the Bay Area’s most impacted communities. Architecture for Humanity San Francisco Chapter assembled a team of volunteers including architects, landscape architects, interior designers and designers to help the WOHC prepare documentation for a grant to be offered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This grant would come from $1.5 billion set aside by the federal government to assist non-profit health centers nationwide to build new facilities. While the healthcare act is undergoing review in Congress and the grant has not yet been announced, we are all hopeful that this project might be funded through a future grant or through a capital campaign to build a much needed new clinic in West Oakland. Download the full presentation here.

Following the presentation on the West Oakland Health Center, we had Kat Sawyer, Project Manager of SFUSD's "Tap the Sky" program, speak to us about the work she's doing with the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, to install rainwater catchment systems in public schools all around the bay. In partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, "Tap the Sky" is funded by an Urban Watershed Grant with the goal of capturing storm water before it reaches the sewer system. This is achieved through the installation of rainwater cisterns and through using low impact design methods to direct water into permeable areas. Download Kat's presentation here, and see highlights from her talk in the video below.