The Bahrain World Trade Center, pictured left, has 3 wind turbines attached to provide the building with about 10-15% of it’s energy needs. The benefits of building-integrated wind at first seem obvious: it makes the energy at the source, there’s a huge tax incentive, plus it looks cool. But building-integrated wind is actually a bad idea for most buildings.In addition to receiving turbulent and unpredictable air flow at their locations, they pose many problems to the buildings themselves, like excess noise, vibrations, and tons of safety hazards. As far as cost goes, the size of a turbine that can fit on a building usually can’t produce as much energy as one out in an open field, so in most cases the cost-per-energy benefits will be drastically lower than expected. But one thing’s for sure – it certainly makes a ‘green’ fashion statement to any building. The Bahrain WTC sure wouldn’t have the same architectural appeal without its green energy accents.
For more information on building-integrated wind, and its pros and cons, read Alex Wilson’s thorough report at Building Green.