The C2D Hub is a highly-functional, environmentally-friendly, community-conscious building that serves the needs of dental professionals and their patients, supports the economic growth of the region, and implements sustainable and recycling practices in the area. It is an ongoing learning opportunity that brings together the university campus and clinic communities through learning and education deployment. By integrating health, environment, education, and community, our dental clinic is an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to meeting the needs of tomorrow. By employing principles of bio-architecture, sustainable design, and biophilia, the C2D Hub mitigates climate change and climate change impacts and aims to instruct emerging dentistry professionals on eco-friendly building designs and sustainable practices.
Assessment of climate change & its ramifications on systemic & oral health is becoming relevant in countries across the globe. For example, in regions in Central India, plants with medicinal dental healing value from the region are threatened by climate change, thus posing a serious hazard to the continuation of these dental healing practices. Additionally, dentistry itself is highly energy resource intensive with significant environmental impacts. It includes environmental effects of biomaterials (before, during and after clinical use), huge electricity demands for electronic dental equipment, and voluminous water requirements. Efforts to mitigating climate change and educating on sustainable dentistry practices is necessary.
The C2D Hub serves as a place of learning, sustainability, inclusive decision-making, and affordability. It revolves around the concept of a dental clinic of the future that is sustainable, profitable, and a multi-purpose learning space for the community. Our team believes that by designing for the built environment of tomorrow, there is opportunity to simultaneously prioritize forward-thinking sustainability, equity, and community engagement. The current team consists of four graduate students with expertise in social work, information science, engineering, and dentistry. We have also worked and partnered with individuals with expertise in designing for natural hazards and climate threats, architecture, biodiversity, ecological sustainability, and education, including the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry. The interdisciplinary nature of our team translates into our design.
The dental clinic promotes innovation and patient and community well-being to help people work, live, perform and feel their best. It uses principles of bio-architecture and biophilia to connect individuals with the natural world. Additionally, the C2D Hub is a net-zero building that is water efficient, optimizes space, maximizes the use of natural lighting, includes an underfloor air distribution system, and the construction materials, furniture and the floorings are made using recycled materials. The clinic itself uses non-toxic composite materials, which will be recycled with our partnership with TerraCycle, who is a global leader in hard-to-recycle material.
As stated, the C2D Hub is a place for teaching and learning. The clinic itself includes a community gathering room where weekly lectures and events will take place, as well a lab for sustainable dental research. The ongoing learning opportunities consists of a campus-community hub, for when a dentistry student attends the university’s school of dentistry, and a clinic-community hub for when he/she/they are ready to open their own sustainable private dental clinic. Once we confer our blueprint designs we can not only ensure the sustainability of the building itself, but its function as a hub: a place of learning about dentistry, sustainability, inclusive decision-making, affordability, and social justice.