I am currently doing some research on the area and my topic at the moment is the Strata building in London (Elephant & Castle) and would like to know if the wind turbines on the top of the building actually work. I cant seem to find this information out anywhere about wether they do or not. I am aware that they were installed to help the building be a leading sustainable project but I have never seem them in use and have heard many stories that they never have?! Which was a major failure - Is this true and why do they not work? Thanks for your help and time.
There was a debate on their value here some time back. I think it was generally accepted that though we're told they contribute to fuel savings (they have turned on occasion) in general they're more akin to an architectural folly, picking up a bit of environmental kudos along the way and bonus points for 'caring about our future'.
I hear a lot of rumours about why the turbines don't turn much usually based on too much noise to the flats below. But I always assumed that the turbines were fitted on large cushioning fixing precisely to stop such noise.
I have asked this questions before out of interest on here: Are the turbines still in an experimental phase i.e are they still being put through their paces with data being gathered on their efficiency or have they really been left to a more random and pointless occasional spin for old times sake?
Would appreciate if any Strata Tower folk could illuminate on this. Has there been any saving in fuel bills due to the eco-turbines?
I live directly behind the Strata and the turbines can clearly be seen from my sofa. For the last year I have never seen the turbines in operation. In the preceding year they were rotating occasionally.
Officer's report is here. It was application 05/AP/2502 and went to planning committee on 21 March 2006.
There is much discussion of the turbines, one part saying:
The treatment of the top of the building incorporates a stepping back of the façade and the incorporation of the wind turbines to create a dramatic and highly recognisable building form that achieves one of the Council’s plan objectives which is to create landmark buildings as signifiers of the Elephant and Castle on the London skyline. The turbines are of course not merely decorative but have a function which is directly related to Elephant’s status as an energy action area and to the achievement of the zero carbon growth which is a key objective of the framework.
I like the "of course"... in the end there seem to have been doubts expressed but an absence of evidence. And after all, a "landmark" building was an objective in itself, it seems.
The aim apparently was that The wind turbines in the roof space would create the energy for approximately 20 flats, or lighting for the entire building. Incorporation of the wind turbines and a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit in the basement would result in an overall projected 8.7% reduction in carbon emissions, which is slightly below the 10% target, but considered to be acceptable given that tall buildings all buildings generally do not lend themselves for renewable energy sources.