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Clean Technology Tower: Elegant Mix of Biomimicry, Wind Design + Solar Power

Clean Technology Tower If you haven't noticed, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill have been showing off some seriously green designs since leaving SOM* — this building is another such example.  One of their newest projects, Clean Technology Tower, builds on principles of biomimicry and utilizes technology and building systems to interact with the surrounding environment.  As you'll notice from the renderings below, wind turbines are located at the building's corners to capture wind at its highest velocity as it accelerates around the building.  The number of turbines in the structure increases as you climb up towards the apex, where there's a veritable wind farm!  Also at the top of the skyscraper, where winds are at a maximum, is a domed double roof cavity that captures air for the wind farm.  The dome itself is also clad in photovoltaic cells that harness the sun's energy.

Located near public and private transportation, Clean Technology Tower will house roughly 1.8 million sf of office and 300k sf of hotel space.  Although I'm not sure of the green skyscraper's precise location, Smith + Gill promises unparalleled views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River from the dome atrium.  Imagine working in a building where you can take the elevator to the top, watch the turbines whirl away, and see the entire city.  It doesn't get much better than that. 

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Solar Tower of Power to Spain and Abu Dhabi

Torresol Tower

I just noticed fresh news of this newly formed company called Torresol that’s developing a Solar Tower of Power for both  Spain and Abu Dhabi.  It’s cool news and interesting technology, but it strikes me: Does anyone want to use their celebrity or political influence to bring more of these to the U.S.?  Hillary?  Obama?  Gore?  Buffett?  Pickens?  There’s a ton a raw land in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Texas, etc., and any given state could take a stab at a plan with transmission lines, right?  I know we talked about an EnviroMission tower before, but I haven’t seen any movement on that front.  It might take a green blogger coalition to get more of these built, but if we can’t figure it out, we’re going to see a new generation of dollars going to the same group of people.  If you know what I mean …

A concentrating solar concentrating power plant like the one pictured above could generate power for something like 30,000 homes (17 mw).

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Anti-Smog Design with Solar Drop + Wind Tower [S2]

Antismogparis

Anti-Smog is a prototype project envisioned for a post-industrial area of Paris that aims to invent a new architecture — auto-sufficient, depolluting architecture, reactive to its environment.  The Vincent Callebaut Architectures prototype relies heavily on building-integrated, green innovation such as vertical axis wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, and living walls and greenery.  The result is a design that not only borders on positive energy as a self-sufficient structure, but one that moves into a refreshing realm of natural architecture that can clean and replenish the surrounding air.

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SMIT GROW Solar and Wind Facades

Grow .1

Green start-up companies are doing some crazy things, and this company, SMIT, is certainly one to watch.  SMIT, an acronym for Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology, spent the last two years in R&D with this interesting approach to solar and wind power.  SMIT's GROW product has two iterations, GROW.1 and GROW.2, pictured above and below. 

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Portland's First SIPs House to Save 70% on Bills!

SEED SIPs House

Update: 8/7/08 – check out Seed’s blog documenting the project at www.sipshousepdx.com.

Yesterday Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors announced plans to build the first house in Portland using structural insulated panels ("SIP").  This sustainable home design is targeted to save 70% on bills (compared to a home built to current energy code) utilizing tech such as LED and fluorescent lighting, efficient appliances, passive cooling, and the ultra efficient SIPs.  Speaking of the home, Seed Architecture Studio owner Darin Dougherty said:

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Discovery Tower Peaks with a Mini Wind Farm [S2]

Discovery Tower Wind Turbines

Construction just began on what could be one of the most innovative office towers in the U.S.  Located at 1501 McKinney Street in Houston, Discovery Tower is a 30 story office building that will cost upwards near $300 million to build.  And as you can tell from the above renderings, the pinnacle was designed to have 10 wind turbines.  But that’s not just some fancy, green add-on to an otherwise generic building.  Discovery Tower will be built to achieve LEED Gold certification from the USGBC. 

With construction set to finish in the second quarter of 2010, the Gensler-designed green skyscraper will have air filtration, water-efficient plumbing, and an energy efficient heating and cooling system, among other things. 

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