For designing the Infosys campus in Mihan, Nagpur, the client brief was simply ‘to create the world’s most sustainable office building’. Morphogenesis took this opportunity to test if a development of this scale (142 Acres) could be net zero on water, net zero on energy and net zero on waste to landfill. The plan evolved from understanding the carrying capacity of the site; a capacity determined by functions like energy, water, geology of the land, along with essential rules of urban design pertaining to light, ventilation and shading. Based on this emerged a master-plan for a working population of 20,000; a project which is net zero on Energy, Water and Waste Discharge.
The master-plan relies on radial planning, in response to the natural topographical conditions and the prevalent wind directions specific to the region. This radial grid strategy aids in bringing down the perceivable temperatures and creating a micro climate on site. The ±22.5 degrees North orientation of the buildings stems from Nagpur’s location on the Tropic of Cancer; this orientation combined with the building morphology allows for 90% of the building to be naturally day lit yet glare free. The building modules, are largely column free spaces that are stacked on a four floor format and are vertically connected through an atrium and a staircase. The ±22.5 degree rotation in the stacking structure, combined with geometrical transformation of translation, mirror and rotation, generates new grounds at elevated levels.
At Morphogenesis we define smart as Sustainability, Mobility, Affordability, Resilience & Technology. Technology is but a part of the big picture. Unless we can get the rest right, we will not have a model for successful cities of the future.
— Manit Rastogi
Founder Partner, Morphogenesis
The development uses passive strategies to reduce energy and water requirements to one fifth of the consumption of a typical office. This lowered requirement is serviced by a 30 acre on-site solar plant, resulting in zero energy from the grid. Zero water dependence is achieved by creating a reservoir on site. This reservoir, is designed as a lake that adjoins the existing water tank in the West and is fed by effective rainwater surface run-offs.
The campus’ performance remains at net zero at an EPI of just 25 kilowatt/ sqmt/ year, the challenge to achieve this benchmark at such a large scale is enormous (the current typical EPI of buildings of a similar scale is 200 and The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) rating that GRIHA uses as a baseline is 140). This project has also been recognized through a publication; under the title ‘Office in the Tropics’; for PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture) Conference in 2014.
Morphogenesis, New Delhi is an architectural company involved in architecture and urban design practices. The firm achieves a significant milestone this year, of having completing two decades of an approach that looks at sustainability through the lens of Passive Design, Resource Optimization and Contextual Identity. Known as an Architect who consistently pushes the boundaries of Sustainable design, Manit has published several research papers with respect to Zero Energy Buildings. He is a founder member of The GRIHA Council.