Versatile, Sustainable, and Modular Multiuse Pod: Applied Science University


Education_BH: Innovation and Excellence celebrates the remarkable innovations implemented in Bahrain’s schools and universities. We learned about these innovations, the process, the challenges, and the lessons learned from some of the leading educational institutions in the Kingdom. Read more in our latest issue.

The project directive outlines the creation of a 3D-scaled physical model, tasking us with the design and fabrication of a creative POD. This POD should seamlessly function as both an attached or detached modular one-space and, intriguingly, as a sustainable movable unit tailored to the needs of three seniors. The urgency of this endeavour is underscored by its immediate applications, ranging from Internal Campus Activities, such as meeting rooms for students and instructor spaces, to temporary events like job fairs.

Additionally, the POD is envisioned for deployment in Community Engagement Activities, spanning national, annual, and seasonal events, temporary farmer markets, food festivals, and even serving as spots for families and young investors’ product exhibitions or national day celebrations. The ambit of this design extends further to encompass International Implementations, envisioning roles in refugee and neutral hazard accommodations camps, and even as a response unit for events like CVET19 vaccination camps.

The challenge is multifaceted, demanding a creative, adaptable, and sustainable solution that seamlessly integrates with a diverse array of scenarios, from educational settings to community events and international humanitarian efforts.

Modular and Lightweight Structure: The POD boasts a modular framework constructed from lightweight materials, ensuring seamless assembly and disassembly. This design allows for effortless transportation and adaptability to various spatial configurations.

The Size Adaptability and Interior Flexibility: With a footprint of less than 3.5×3.5m, the POD is optimized for the specified space constraints. Its interior is ingeniously flexible, accommodating 3-4 individuals for meetings or transforming into a comfortable living space, showcasing versatility at its core.

The Innovative Ceiling Design: An innovative ceiling system incorporates retractable panels, granting easy access to HVAC systems for maintenance. Additionally, this feature enhances natural ventilation, fostering a comfortable and dynamic internal environment.

Seamless Connectivity: The POD seamlessly integrates with existing structures, connecting to walls, ceilings, or columns. This design choice ensures stability while offering adaptability, allowing multiple units to be linked for larger events or detached for more intimate gatherings.

Intelligent Lighting Solutions: Illumination is achieved through thoughtfully integrated ambient and task lighting. LED fixtures with adjustable intensity cater to diverse activities, creating an environment conducive to both focused work and relaxed engagement.

Enhanced Separation and Controlled Permeability: Acoustic insulation materials are strategically employed to guarantee a high level of separation from surrounding spaces. Simultaneously, transparent elements are strategically incorporated, providing controlled permeability for external views, and catering to privacy needs when necessary.

Aesthetically Pleasing Exterior: The exterior skin showcases an inviting aesthetic, utilizing visually appealing and functional materials. Meticulous attention is given to edge treatments, enhancing both the visual appeal and practical functionality of the POD.

Optimal Usability: The interior layout prioritizes usability, featuring configurable furniture and intelligent storage solutions. Accessibility considerations ensure ease of use for seniors, students, and various user demographics.

Sustainable Practices: The POD employs sustainable building materials, such as recycled or recyclable elements, to minimize environmental impact. Green roof options further enhance insulation and visual aesthetics, contributing to a greener, more eco-friendly solution.

Demountable Design: Engineered for swift assembly and disassembly, the POD consists of components that seamlessly interlock and detach. This demountable feature allows for easy relocation and adaptability to evolving needs.

Mobility and Adaptability: Consideration for mobility is inherent, empowering the POD to transition seamlessly to different locations on campus or beyond. This adaptability caters to the dynamic requirements of internal campus activities, community engagements, and international implementations. This conceptual design not only meets but exceeds the specified requirements, offering a harmonious blend of functionality, sustainability, and aesthetic appeal for a multiuse modular one-space POD.

How was the innovation planned?

In the era of embracing sustainable living, the pursuit of efficiency encompasses various facets, and in the realm of utilities, the significance of space efficiency stands paramount. While designated spaces for specific tasks prove highly beneficial, they often render the area less versatile for activities outside their predefined categories. This rigid allocation can imbue the space with a sense of obstinacy and stagnation. In our contemporary world, marked by a steady population surge, the value of space-saving becomes increasingly pronounced. This advantage manifests not only in the reduction of space wastage but also in the adept utilization of space, allowing it to serve multiple purposes.

The genesis of this innovative endeavour traces back to a challenge posed among Level 4

Architectural Engineering students. The challenge aimed at soliciting inventive ideas for a modular Pod intended primarily for use by engineering students as an initial foray into senior-level projects. The challenge posed a high degree of complexity by necessitating the flexibility for the Pod to seamlessly transition into temporary functions, ranging from movable exhibitions to serving the needs of national and international communities and charitable activities. This dual-purpose innovation posed a significant challenge, demanding a fusion of versatility and adaptability in design.

As we embark on this journey of design innovation, the intention is to transcend conventional limitations and create a Pod that not only serves the immediate needs of engineering students but also extends its utility to broader societal contexts. The vision is to craft a dynamic, multifunctional space that encapsulates the ethos of sustainability and adaptability, meeting the challenges of contemporary living head-on.

What were the challenges faced during implementation?

The innovative concepts were specifically tailored towards temporary construction units poised to swiftly address urgent requirements for risk management strategies, particularly in the face of natural disasters or hazards. Beyond the overarching objectives outlined earlier, the design navigated through three distinctive challenges.

The primary challenge lay in the limited footprint of the POD. Overcoming this constraint demanded not just ingenuity but a profound understanding of utility and space efficiency.

The design sought to maximize every square meter, ensuring optimal functionality without compromising on the user experience.

The second challenge introduced a layer of complexity by emphasizing the necessity for adaptability. The design wasn’t merely tasked with providing a singular purpose but had to morph into a multi-functional one-space modular unit. This demanded an intricate balance, ensuring the POD seamlessly transitioned between different uses without sacrificing efficiency or coherence.

However, the pinnacle of complexity was reached in the third challenge: the need for the POD to integrate with, or detach from, the surrounding environment in harmony with the regional context. This required not only a design that embraced its standalone identity but also offered the flexibility to connect or disconnect based on the ever-changing needs of its surroundings. Achieving this symbiosis demanded a nuanced approach to design, considering both the immediate and broader context in which the POD would operate.

In essence, these challenges weren’t just hurdles; they were opportunities for the design to transcend conventional boundaries, embodying innovation, adaptability, and seamless integration with the environment. The resulting solution, therefore, strives not only to meet urgent needs but also to set a precedent for intelligent, responsive, and sustainable design in the realm of temporary construction units.

Give us a brief assessment of your results.

Remarkable achievements were realized initially at the local level through the active engagement of students in community activities tailored to meet various seasonal or annual temporary exhibition requirements. Expanding this success to a global scale, the submitted project charts a novel course in enhancing existing practices by reimagining the concept of temporary modular units and employing materials with strategic ingenuity.

The initial design not only attains but exemplifies the primary objective of enhancing convenience through creativity and innovation. It introduces a POD design characterized by remarkably simple construction details, significantly reducing the time required for installation as a temporary unit. This design ingeniously transforms the spatial footprint of a room, capitalizing on compact dimensions, and leveraging the lightweight properties of the selected material to ensure ease of transportation to different locations at minimal expenses.

The creative idea seamlessly transitions into a tangible form, weaving a narrative that articulates the primary design objectives. This narrative maintains a cohesive representation throughout the entire project, from intricate drawings to a compelling poster presentation. This unified approach, coupled with a meticulously crafted 3D physical model, provides a comprehensive understanding of the project’s technical intricacies.

In essence, the project not only fulfils its commitment to inventive design but excels in effectively communicating its vision and practicality. It serves as a testament to the seamless integration of creativity, innovation, and technical expertise in the realm of temporary modular units, offering a comprehensive solution that transcends local and global boundaries.

In hindsight, what were the most valuable lessons learned while implementing the * innovation? Could things have been done differently?

Exceptional outcomes were attained, commencing with a localized impact through the active involvement of students in community engagement activities catering to various seasons or annual requirements for temporary exhibitions. Elevating the scope to a global level, the submitted project presents a groundbreaking approach to enhancing prevailing practices by addressing the concept of temporary modular units and deploying materials in an intelligent and resourceful manner.

The inaugural design not only attains but epitomizes the primary objective of fostering convenience through creativity and innovation. This is achieved by proposing a POD design distinguished by its straightforward construction details, significantly reducing installation time as a temporary unit. The design ingeniously alters the spatial footprint of the room, leveraging small dimensions, and harnessing the lightweight nature of the selected materials, ensuring cost-effective transportation to diverse locations.

This inventive concept seamlessly transitions from ideation to a tangible form, weaving a narrative that articulates the primary design objectives. The unity of this narrative is impeccably maintained throughout the entire project, from detailed drawings to a compelling poster presentation. This cohesive representation, coupled with a meticulously crafted 3D physical model, provides a comprehensive understanding of the project’s technical intricacies.

In essence, the project not only delivers on its promise of inventive design but also excels in effectively communicating its vision and practicality, thereby setting a benchmark for the intelligent integration of creativity, innovation, and technical proficiency in the realm of temporary modular units.

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