Vincent Callebaut released an ideal project, aiming to make buildings with 100% self-sufficient in energy and zero carbon emission. The new design is called Hydrogenase, looking like airships that only appear in fantasy illustrations. The inhabited vertical airship sets in the heart of a floating farm of seaweeds that reload it directly with bio-hydrogen. These two interdependent entities are both nomad and organic, the first one flies in the sky and the second one on the seas and oceans.

The semi-rigid not pressurized airship stretches vertically around an arborescent spine that air-dynamically twists on more than 400 meters high and 180 meters of diameter. Forming a big flower ready to open, the spaces divide in cross under the shape of petals that welcome respectively the main sectors of activities: housing, offices, scientific laboratories and entertainment. These 4 inhabited spaces are included between 4 great bubbles inflated with bio-hydrogen, a renewable energy. These bubbles are made with a rigid hull in light alloy shaped with twisted longitudinal beams linked together by wide sinusoidal rings. Every end is finished by a cone, and the one at the bottom, the most sharpened one carries the stabilizers and the rudders of deepness and of direction. This framework is covered by a double layer of waterproof, fireproof, glazed canvas to reduce the resistance to advancement. The in-between is divided into slices in which there are small balloons full of helium. The helium mattress in periphery enables to protect the balloons of bio-hydrogen and helium, the remaining 30% are provided by the aerodynamic of the airship twisted fuselage with the speed, as for an airplane.

PROGRAM : Algae Farm and Bio-Hydrogen Airship, Emergency Housings, Scientific Laboritories, Freight
LOCATION : Shanghai, South China Sea
FREIGHT : 200 Tons
SPEED : 175 km/h
ACTION FIELD : 5 – 10 000km
HEIGHT : 480m
SURFACE AREA : 350.000 m²
MODEL & PERSPECTIVES : Vincent Callebaut Architectures

The floating farm is a true organic purifying station composed of 4 carbon wells in which the green seaweeds recycle the carbonated waste brought by ships. This is directly dedicated to feed organically in biohydrogen the proactive airship. It replaces thus the petrol station as the runway for traditional airplanes and looks like a weaving of fine amphibian laces. It sets up as much underneath as on top of the sea surface and respects the quadripartite sharing out in petals of the whole Hydrogenase project. Continuing the 4 wings of the pneumatic tower, 4 great arches structure this circular platform and distribute vertically all the levels of the central ring inhabited by the scientists. At the surface, these arches are covered by thermal and photovoltaic solar shields whereas under the water they are set with 32 hydro-turbines transforming the tidal energy of the sea streams into electricity.

The airship can carry up to 200 tons of freight at 175 km/h. Although it is seven times slower than an airplane, it needs less infrastructure and multimodal platforms. It consumes thus less territory and will progressively enable to heal the landscapes slashed by the transport network leading to a massive deforestation. Therefore, it costs 10 times less for the carriage of heavy loads as well as traveller transport, and everything without damaging the planet! For the specialists of logistical transport facing the long lasting absence of appropriated road or airport infrastructures in many parts of the world (desert and oceans), this new generation is also very expected to link production sites and using sites. Moreover, flying free health care centres or even country hospitals could also interfere during natural catastrophes, where lives could be in danger. It could also explore and help underprivileged territories of the third world by carrying the raw materials of globalised alimentation to those who are hungry in remote places!

Hydrogenase is hard to be made at present. But this concept adopts the technologies that are being developed. So maybe one day in the future, it will come true.