Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures teamed up with Agroecologist Amlankusum to create Hyperions, a vertical, energy positive eco-neighborhood proposed for Jaypee Green Sports City in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) in India. The project’s goal is to “reconcile urban renaturation and small-scale farming with environment protection and biodiversity,” the project combines low-tech and high-tech elements with the “objective of energy decentralization and food deindustrialization.”
Hyperions is composed of six, mixed-use 36-story garden towers that contain residential and office spaces, and are built with Delhi-farmed cross-laminated timber covered with orchard gardens. Wood was selected as it “provides the best environmental footprint during its lifecycle—from harvesting to recycling, through transportation, processing, implementation, maintenance, and reuse.” In other words, by choosing wood over steel or concrete, the project completely avoids emissions of 1.1 tons of CO2 per cubic meter.
Hyperions features a network of suspended footbridges that connect the six towers, in which they converging under a large orchard roof that acts as the community meeting area. The project’s operational energy (for lighting, climate control, water heating, etc) is produced on-site, with methods like wind lampposts that produce power via magnetic-levitation vertical-axis wind turbines integrated into their poles.
Other structural and climate control optimizations that the building feature include:
“Steel and concrete substructures for earthquake-resistant foundations, parking areas, and vertical core bases….superstructure made of solid wood columns, beams, and walls reinforced with steel blades where columns and beams meet….this mixed structure is reputed for its strong mechanical resistance, including in the event of earthquakes, for its high resistance to fire, and for its high acoustic and thermal performance…the system takes advantage of the earth’s thermal inertia, which remains stable at 18 degrees Celsius all year round. Through natural airflow, the external air—which can reach 45 degrees Celsius and fall to 3 degrees Celsius in the winter—is therefore naturally cooled or heated in contact with the earth, and so without using a single kilowatt of electricity.”