Over the weekend, Hoffman Construction lifted four Southwest Windpower turbines into place on top of a new building, Twelve West. Located at Southwest 12th Avenue and Washington Street, Twelve West includes a mixture of office and apartment spaces and was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects to achieve LEED Platinum certification. ZGF included the turbines in early renderings, and developer Gerding Edlen, probably the foremost green developer on the West Coast, determined to give the turbines serious chance.
The Architectural Review recently mentioned an interesting facade installation on an office building in Utrecht, Netherlands. Designed by Cepezed, in collaboration with Ned Kahn Studios, the facade is made with about 3,250 square feet of stainless steel mesh. The mesh grid holds transparent plastic disks, or squares rather, that vibrate and move to the wind. The effect is an artistic facade that produces a mezmorizing array of shade and light, together with exterior wave patterns that captivate.
Update 12/17/2009: Honeywell Wind Turbine Coming Soon!
Last week, we mentioned that the small wind market is growing like crazy, and if things go as planned, there could be another turbine company to watch. The Honeywell Wind Turbine from EarthTronics, according to Martin LaMonica of CNET, will be sold in participating Ace Hardware Stores starting this October. EarthTronics claims the turbine can generate power at wind speeds as low as 2 mph. With Class 4 winds, the turbine can generate about 2,000 kWh per year, which is roughly 15-20% of an average home’s electricity needs.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) just released a new report, the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study, detailing a sizable advance in the small wind turbine market in the United States. Small wind turbines, you may know, are those with a capacity of 100 kW or less. And the U.S. market for this niche grew 78% in 2008, with a total of 17.3 (MW) of new installed capacity. The report indicates that the growth is due, in large part, to private equity investment in the sector, as well as economies of scale, rising electricity prices, and heightened public interest.
This is the first LEED Platinum home in Vermont, although perhaps more importantly, it’s a documented and legitimate zero net energy home. From January 2008 to January 2009, the 2,800 square-foot, single-family residence exported 16 kWh of electricity to the grid. Over the same time period, a Bergey 10 kW net-metered turbine generated 6,286 kWh of on-site, green energy. Designed by Pill – Maharam Architects, the handsome farmhouse was built for a family of four and features a number of green elements: