Shaanxi Province

VPP has maintained its support for the operations of the four MaliDoulaixi community bathhouses; these serve a population of 4800. During 2015 the four bathhouses provided more than 7,600 showers; over 4,600 of which were offered for free or were subvented, benefiting the old, the very young and school children. Since operations began in 2008 with the very first bathhouse, VPP projects have recorded more than 66,000 showers; a growing number are provided on either a subvented or a free basis.

 
 

Maojiazhuang

Maojiazhuang Malidoulaixi Bathhouse had its trial opening 30 December 2007, and its official opening 13 January 2008. The bathhouse has become an independent profitable economic entity. The bathhouse fees are RMB 5 for adults, RMB 3 for students. Elderly people above 65 year are still free of charge, based on their ‘Malidoulaixi Member Card’ and from October 2014 showers have also been free for people over 50. Children below 1.2 meters are also free of charge. Opening times are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-20:00 hrs. It uses a solar power system and coal. The bathhouse is also often visited by people from the neighbouring villages, even from villages in Gansu province. It is operated by Zhu Pingyu.

 

Xifeng

Xifeng Malidoulaixi Bathhouse had its trial opening 19 December 2009 till 20 April 2010, and its official opening 13 May 2010. The bathhouse has become an independent profitable economic entity. The bathhouse fees are RMB 4 for adults, RMB 3 for children between 6-16 year. Elderly people above 65 year are free of charge, based on their ‘Malidoulaixi Member Card’. Children below 1.2 meter are also free of charge. Opening times are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00-20:00 hrs. The bathhouse is also often visited by people from the neighbouring villages, especially during the weekends. Since September 2012, Xifeng Malidoulaixi Bathhouse implemented the VPP School Scheme to provide the showering service free of charge on a monthly basis to the students of 4-6 grades in Xifeng’s primary school. From October 2013 VPP also subvented showers for people over 50 years of age, they only paid half price. From October 2014 showers for over 50 were free.

 

Sanquan

Sanquan Malidoulaixi Bathhouse had its official opening 1 April 2011. The bathhouse has become an independent profitable economic entity within one year. The bathhouse fees are RMB 4 for adult and RMB 3 for students. Elderly people above 65 year are free of charge, based on their ‘Malidoulaixi Member Card’. Children below 1.2 meter are also free of charge. Opening times are Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-20:00 hrs. The bathhouse is also often visited by people from the neighbouring villages. Since September 2012, Sanquan Malidoulaixi Bathhouse implemented the VPP School Scheme to provide the showering service of free of charge once a month for the students in 4-6 grades in Sanquan’s primary school. From October 2014 showers for people over 50 were free.

 

Sunjiacun

Sunjiacun Malidoulaixi Bathhouse had its trial opening 30 December 2011 till 8 February 2012, and its official opening 1 May 2012. The bathhouse has yet to become an independent profitable economic entity. The bathhouse fees are RMB 3 for adults, RMB 2 for children between 6-16 year. Elderly people above 65 year are free of charge, based on their ‘Malidoulaixi Member Card’. Children below 1.2 meter are also free of charge. Opening times are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-20:00 hrs. Since September 2012, Sunjiacun Malidoulaixi Bathhouse implemented the VPP School Scheme to provide the showering service free of charge once a month for the students of 4-6 grades in Sunjiacun’s primary school. From October 2013 VPP also subvented showers for people over 50 years of age, they only paid half price. From October 2014 showers for people over 50 in Sunjiacun were free.


Our operating team

VPP finds budding entrepreneurs to run the bathhouses for a profit. Without them and their enthusiasm, patience and entrepreneurial spirit, the project would not have survived successfully to the present day.


shaanxi design

GREEN DESIGN

The concept and design for the VPP bathhouse was the brainchild of MADA s.p.a.m.,  a Shanghai-based design firm founded by the architect Ma Qingyun in 1999. The design is a fully functioning bathhouse combined with a modern community centre. A VPP bathhouse is a village landmark. 

Scale
Each VPP covers about 144 sq. m. It has separate changing and communal bathing areas for women and men. There are up to seven showers for women and four for men. The entrance area is public space used for meet & greet, and to host local activities.

SUSTAINABILITY

Insulation
Energy efficiency is all important. The exteriors use External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS). In Maojiazhuang, the VPP bathhouse has an earthen coating to protect the building from damage during the freezing weather months. Earthen walls are a technique used in tulou-buildings in Fujian province. The application was introduced by MADA s.p.a.m. 

For VPP bathhouses in Xifeng, Sanquan and Sunjiacun, insulation and protection come from EPS and XPS materials. Engineers from Weber/Maxit provided the materials and on-site training to the local workers from the village.

The roofs and under floor areas of the three bathhouses are also insulated. This makes for very efficient use of heat during the very cold winters. The watertanks are insulated to avoid any unnecessary heat loss. 

Solar Energy
Each VPP has six solar panels—Maojiazhuang has 12—on its roof. With sufficient sunlight, that is enough to provide hot water for an average of 15 to 20 people. A coal boiler serves as a backup. Solar panels repay their investment within three or four years.

Water Management
Water is a scarce resource in Gansu and Shaanxi. Watersaving low-flow showerheads conserve water use without compromising on performance. (Showers are limited to 50 minutes!) Waste water is filtered by active carbon, pebbles and sand. The water is then suitable for irrigation.

Waterless Toilets
The VPP bathhouses in Xifeng and Sanquan feature local, traditional dry-pit outhouses. Separate toilets separate urine. The human waste is used as fertilizer.