The multi-use Twelve West building in Portland, Ore., is making a splash in the enviro-press for the four wind turbines on its roof. “Green, Inc.”:
Four wind turbines, rising 45-feet above a 22-story building in downtown Portland, Ore., won’t produce a significant amount of power — but that’s fine with the architects who put them there.
“This is more about generating knowledge than electricity,” said John Breshears of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, which developed the project atop Twelve West, a new, mixed-use tower in Portland’s West End. The turbines were turned on last week.
“The more we learn the better we’re going to be at this.”
Although they will produce just 1 percent of the building’s electricity needs, Mr. Breshears and his partner, Craig Briscoe, suggest that the turbines will provide much needed data on the efficacy of urban rooftop wind farming, which has generated a good deal of interest, but faces a number of challenges — from the prohibitive size and weight needed to generate cost-effective power, to annoying vibrations, generated by spinning blades, that can ripple through a building’s frame.
I don’t know. As a renter, would you be willing to plop down some pretty hefty rents and hope the vibrations from the windmill don’t keep you up at night? I wouldn’t.
On a lighter note, the building is holding a contest to “name” the wind turbines:
Okay, in the past few days as we have been putting up the wind turbines, we have started to test the systems that tell us how much energy we have been producing from the wind we have gotten so far… for lack of loftier phrasing, it could be about the coolest thing I have ever seen. You can actually monitor each of the individual turbines and calculate which one is putting out the most energy at any given time. So, after being completely BLOWN AWAY (no pun intended) by how cool that was, we said . . . holy heck . . . PDX did such a good job with naming our building why not name the turbines and create a competition out of them. So here is how it works…
Portland . . . we need names. Think the Kentucky Derby. Think horse racing. Think competition. Rocky. The Windy Rider. Breaking Wind. . . . Anything goes.