Located in the National Capital Region of Delhi, India, the Cantilever House by Zero Energy Design (ZED) Lab features a geometric design that focuses on energy efficiency and traditional architectural elements in response to the harsh North Indian climate.
The client is an outdoor-lover who wanted to take advantage of the natural surroundings without jeopardizing the environmental elements with high-impact construction methods.
“The primary challenge was to design the frame with judicious use of steel for economic viability, given that the cantilevers form a dominant part of the design scheme and a typical one demands adequate steel reinforcement to generate structural integrity,” the designers explained. “Additionally, the design received skepticism from the client, and workers on the site had to be trained to execute the construction with precision.”
The design consists of passive cooling techniques and renewable energy resources to combat the hot and dry climate of the region. Designers placed the living areas in the north and east to bring in natural light but included private areas in the west and south for minimal heat gain throughout the day. There is also a pergola outside of the south windows to provide shade.
A double-height lobby is protected by the summer court to the north and a winter court to the south, in order to accomplish stack ventilation, while the north face of the home is double glazed with low-E coating for thermal resistance to avoid glare and subsequent heat gain. To the south, designers included a smaller number of windows to further prevent heat gain.
A variety of plants and vertical gardens, as well as a water court on the north side, create a cooler microclimate and add air-purifying elements for the residents. A solar hot water system installed on the rooftop provides hot water for the home, and a rainwater harvesting system is used to irrigate the front and rear lawns.
Photography by Andre J. Fanthome via ZED Lab