Yet another skyscraper surfaces on London’s skyline - “Strata SE1” at Elephant and Castle. Strata SE1 is a 43-story Tower with a height of 147 metres (485 ft) and a five-story Pavilion which features 408 high-quality apartments along with space for shops and restaurants. Strata Towers is the first building in the world to incorporate wind turbines directly into its structure, and is also tallest residential building in central London. It is also dubbed “Razor”, since its structure resembles the shape of electric shaving razor.
This architectural landmark is designed by BFLS, formally known as Hamiltons. The Strata Towers is glazed entirely with high performance Low-E architectural glass. Large glass surfaces of the building raise internal building temperatures and promote the “heat island” effect in cities. Floor-to-ceiling windows in each apartment give a breathtaking view of the surroundings and operable windows provide natural daylight to the residents. Energy efficiency measures at the building include using a natural, “whole house” ventilation system (with heat recovery) instead of air-conditioning – a feasible approach given the island nation’s mild climate, which ranges from about 0ºC (32°Fahrenheit) in winter to a balmy 32ºC (89.6° Fahrenheit) in summer.
Sustainable features also include heating systems, low energy lighting and 96 percent recycling of construction waste. Wind Turbines The tower avails full advantage of the area’s 35mph of south-west wind speed. Wind turbines use five 30 ft. diameter and 19 kW blades instead of three as in conventional turbines, to minimize noise. Each blade configures to 9 m length and 30 ft. diameter. Four anti-vibration dampeners help alleviate vibrations to the building. Three building-integrated wind turbines in this building generate 8% of the total electricity needs of the building, roughly enough to run the electrical and mechanical services (including three express lifts and automated window-cleaning rigs) as well as the lighting, heating and ventilation of its public spaces, which include an underground car and bicycle park. The turbines are designed to rely on the Venturi effect (the Bernoulli principle as applied to fluid dynamics), which increases wind velocities as a result of a building’s height, shape and adjacent terrain to generate approximately 50MWh of electricity annually.