A mixed-use project in Chicago has been getting a lot of attention for its green elements.  Most noticeable, perhaps, is the beveled corner that holds 12 vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT) by Helix Wind.  The turbines are stacked in two columns on the building’s southwest corner and were included in the HOK designed-facade to cover all exterior lighting costs.

If successful, Greenway could pave the way for similar installations in all kinds of buildings, including future condo and multifamily projects.  The turbines grab wind from all directions and can start generating electricity in as low as 11.1 mph winds, according to Architect Magazine.

Helix S594 is the aluminum turbine used in this structure and it retails for about $16,000.  S594 can produce up to 4.5 kW of power, according to the manufacturer, depending on myriad factors, including, without limitation, wind conditions and siting.

Each turbine measures 16’x4′ and weighs approximately 1,330 pounds.  A steel support tube, steel base plate, and second steel support tube brace each turbine to the chamfered, windy corner of Greenway Self Park.

Credits: Flickr/John Picken.