As we become more aware of and concerned about the environment, we embrace more environmentally conscious behaviors. Moving towards more sustainable options– wind energy is gaining acceptance as a clean and renewable option to other fossil-fuel-based energy sources, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, wind turbines around the world produce clean electricity for a variety of power requirements, from massive wind farms to small turbines powering a single home.
How does wind generate power?
Wind is a natural movement of air or other gases in relation to the surface of the earth. The readily available wind is used to generate power by converting the kinetic energy of moving air into electricity. The wind rotates the rotor blades of modern wind generators, converting kinetic energy into rotational energy. This rotational energy is transmitted to the generator via a shaft, generating electrical power.
Using Wind turbines to produce energy is an efficient method although it requires a large area of unobstructed space for the wind to be able to flow freely. Although if permitted, rooftops can be useful to place wind turbines as well.
Wind-powered architecture can help one rethink and reflect more sustainable approaches in a way one can use the natural resources and incorporate them with architecture. Below are some brilliant examples showcasing how wind-powered architecture can be a successful method of energy efficiency.
VR Posto Comando by M2 Senos Arquitectos
VR Posto Comando is a technical building that facilitates the running of a wind farm in Portugal’s Sierra de Alvo mountain chain. The endeavor is set in a one-of-a-kind and isolated environment shaped by high winds and extreme temperatures. The modern project serves a dual purpose: while its interior safeguards the park’s technical equipment, its exterior adapts to the environment’s morphology, blending with the scenery through the use of materials such as wood and granite.
A Bioclimatic Dwelling in Tenerife by Ruiz Larrea
This bioclimatic house has an optimal orientation and materiality and is situated in the unusual landscape of the Canary archipelago, which was created by volcanic eruptions. The house must defend itself from strong wind pressure while also utilizing it as a renewable resource. As a result, the work is adaptable and linked to its surroundings, drawing on the natural resources available.
The Houl by Simon Winstanley Architects
The Houl is a modern UK home that has been certified as ‘zero carbon’ due to its high levels of insulation, heat recovery ventilation throughout the building, an air-source heat pump, and a wind turbine. The Houl generates energy by utilizing the strong wind present in the town of Castle Douglas. Furthermore, the project takes advantage of the landscape’s unique qualities through its spatial and architectural arrangement, such as the inclination of the roof and the use of big windows.
House 2.0 by FARO Architecten
House 2.0 is a 230 square meters house situated in a completely urban context, in the city of Amsterdam. Although the house has high architectural value, its uniqueness lies in its zero energy consumption and zero CO2 emissions, demonstrating that it is possible to live sustainably even in heavily populated areas. The reduction is accomplished by converting the house into a passive house, which includes insulation, triple glazing, 100% waterproof joints, and heat exchangers. Photovoltaic cells and a windmill built into the roof work together to produce electricity.
Sustainable Residence by Studio 804
This house, located in Kansas City, is designed as a modern and sustainable housing model near the city’s center. The LEED Platinum-certified wooden house sticks out for its pursuit of sustainable solutions throughout the planning process, from construction to operation. Local materials with high recycled, reused, and manufactured content were used throughout the design, allowing for the building of a prefabricated home. Similarly, the energy demand of the home is decreased by the use of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic solar panels and a wind turbine. Low-flow valve fittings, a rainwater recovery system, a geothermal heat pump, an energy recovery fan, and a highly efficient HVAC system are also examples of environmentally friendly features in the house.
Østerild Visitors and Operation Center by Cubo Arkitekter
This project, situated in Denmark’s Thy National Park, consists of a research and technology center that educates the public about wind energy by displaying various sustainable projects. Furthermore, as a wind turbine study location, visitors can visualize the massive structures and learn how they work. The architecture of the center sticks out for its minimal intervention in the territory, adapting to the landscape’s linearity.
Summer House by DDAANN
This 176-square-meter summer house is set in a meadow in Central Bohemia, Czech Republic. As a vacation home, it is set up as a gathering place for three family generations, with three private areas for each generation and a shared space. The project is self-sustaining in the midst of nature by consuming available environmental resources; residents produce food sources such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and renewable energy sources are used by activating a wind turbine in the garden.
Luminary Inspiration Center by Archiproba
Luminaria is an educational facility in the village of Khryug in southern Dagestan that aims to increase local residents’ access to technology. The project was envisioned as an inspiration center comprised of libraries, rooms, labs, cinemas, and workshops set in a stimulating landscape. Aside from the massive network of rooms, there is also a garden with a wind turbine that, in addition to generating energy, serves as an educational component for children to model wind turbines and solar power plants in the laboratory.
Wind energy (no date) IRENA. Available at: https://www.irena.org/Energy-Transition/Technology/Wind-energy (Accessed: March 23, 2023).
Cortés, C.V. (2023) 8 examples of wind powered architecture, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/956556/8-examples-of-wind-powered-architecture (Accessed: March 23, 2023).