The Green Vanguard: W is for Wind Turbines

Designed by Bogle Flanagan Lawrence Silver

Today, when wind turbines appear on tall buildings, they tend to be tacked onto roofs like appendages, producing modest amounts of electricity. But a high-rise residential tower that recently opened in London incorporated turbines into the structure of the building for the first time.

Looking like a mammoth electric shaver, the Strata SE1’s form is itself a kind of wind-harvesting device. “The concave southern facade channels directional winds toward the top of the building,” explains Ian Bogle, a director of Bogle Flanagan Lawrence Silver, the building’s architects. Enclosures near the top of Strata also help accelerate wind flow across the three five-bladed turbines.

In the end, however, the turbines will provide just 8 percent of the building’s energy needs. “Our ‘insertion’ was a response to local legislation, which required a target figure of ten percent renewables,” Bogle says. “We think each project has to be considered on an individual basis, with a mix of renewable sources the most likely scenario.”

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