The Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) made history this week as its pioneering wind turbines turned together for the first time. The three 29m-diameter turbine blades on Bahrain's iconic landmark are the world's first to be integrated into a commercial development, and are forecast to provide the equivalent of 11-15% of the power for the two towers when fully operational.
The successful installation of the turbines involved collaboration between Atkins Architects and Engineers and Norwin turbine specialists, who were in Bahrain for the inaugural turning and presentation to media.
Mr. Ole Sangill, Managing Partner of turbine specialists Norwin who have been involved with the project from conception, was present throughout the installation process and at the inauguration, and commented: "This was of course a first for Norwin as it was for the real estate world, and we truly have pushed the boundaries of environmental architecture with this project.
It is a testament to Bahrain that private developers are investing in sustainability and pioneering design, which is certainly the future of architecture as it shapes the planet in years to come."
Speaking at the event, Mr. Simha LytheRao Atkins Project Manager explained that the use of established technologies, including type-tested turbines with minimal modifications ensured that the additional cost incurred by incorporating turbines into the project was reduced to around 3.5% of the overall project value, making it not only an environmentally responsible but also a financially viable venture.
He also explained how the elliptical shaped towers act as aerofoils, funneling and accelerating the wind velocity between them, and exploiting the unobstructed prevailing onshore breeze from the adjacent Gulf coast to provide a renewable source of energy for the building.
The incorporation of large-scale turbines onto a building is a world first. During the proceeding months the turbines will therefore undergo detailed analysis and optimization by Norwin to determine their actual electricity generation potential. The turbines are expected to operate approximately 50% of the time.
The project has also been the recipient of international acclaim for its commitment to sustainable development, being awarded LEAF Awards 2006 for 'Best Use of Technology within a Large Scheme' and recently the Arab Construction World 'Sustainable Design Award'. These accolades recognise the achievements of developments whose raison d'?tre is environmental protection and improvement, and provide public recognition for the individuals and companies who have attained the highest standards within the design and construction industry.