MIPIM 2006: Hypergreen - a very tall building project for a sustainable world 20 February 2006

Research-orientated architect, Jacques Ferrier and world leader in building materials, Lafarge Group, have joined forces in a project to demonstrate that sustainable construction methods methods that better respect the environment and quality of life are possible now and not just a dream for the future. Leopold Lombard, Director of Architect Relations at Lafarge said, Our partnership with Jacques Ferrier has allowed us to explore the possibilities of creating beautiful buildings, using Lafarge's high-performance materials, which have a limited impact on the environment throughout their entire life-span.

The Hypergreen project is a mixed-use tall building concept designed for the worlds mega-cities, such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sao Paulo. In an urban environment beleaguered by a dense population, an increasingly pressurized property market and high levels of pollution, the Hypergreen project proposes a tall building that is ecologically responsible yet fully integrated into the landscape.

Because of its size and height, the Hypergreen tower represents a building that is exemplary in terms of sustainable development. To achieve this aim, it must consume very little energy - or better still, generate enough energy to cover its own needs. Accordingly, the Hypergreen project has made extensive use of renewable energy sources, including earth cooling tubes (puits canadiens), geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

In addition to incorporating the latest green technology, the Hypergreen building has above all been structurally conceived to meet sustainable development criteria. Its shape, façades and components have all been designed and positioned to capitalize on the building's orientation, unlike existing buildings that are indifferent to the climatic context.

Hypergreen also makes use of the most sophisticated construction techniques to promote energy saving, safety and recycling. The structure is based on a separation between the gravity load and wind bracing. The building's exterior, a "grid skin" façade built with ultra-high performance concrete Ductal, ensures solar control and horizontal stability. The interior structure, freed from any wind bracing functions, consists of freestanding plates that are simply superimposed. As a result, the building's interior is totally flexible and adaptable.

The concrete structure can be entirely prefabricated: all columns, beams and slabs can be manufactured at industrial sites, under optimal manufacturing conditions, therefore lessening the amount of time and labour required on site. Its structure also meets the long-term strategy for building functions since the prefabricated components can be easily dismantled, with very little harm to the surrounding environment (no dust emissions, relatively shorter job times on site etc) and can be completely recycled.

Thus, the structure itself is a key factor in the application of sustainable development principles to the Hypergreen tower building. With the exterior grid skin façade serving as a kind of sunshade and providing support for the photovoltaic panels and wind turbines, the buildings outward appearance makes a strong statement about the ecological awareness underlying the Hypergreen concept. Jacques Ferrier said about the project, The Hypergreen project presents the skyscraper as a sustainable feature of the urban landscape. It is not only fully integrated into the landscape but also enhances it.

Source: MIPIM

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