Large-Scale Building Integrated Wind Turbines in the Bahrain World TradeCenter Manama, Bahrain accommodates The Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC),which is a 240m (787ft) high twin commercial office tower complex. The towersare the epicenter of a masterplan to renew a 5* hotel and a shopping mall,which exist on a very famous area of Manama, with view the Arabian Gulf in thedowntown central business site. The long established Arabian ”Wind Towers” influenced the form of theBahrain World Trade Center buildings in the sense that the buildings takeadvantage of the undistracted serene breeze from the Gulf, giving a renewablesource of energy for the new masterplan.
The towers are famous for their tremendous architecture that imitates anancient Arabian ”wind tower” design. However, the most important part thatmakes the BWTC so special and distinguishes from the others is its status asthe first commercial building, which combines three large-scale wind turbinesin its design. Additionally, the turbines are able to produce an important partof the building’s total electricity required each year. How the Project Came About Atkins’ Chief Architect, Shaun Killa, pushed the idea for this moderndesign solution and the Client easily embraced the concept to show to the worldthat Bahrain is open to options, which can decrease the demand on fossil fuelenergy and will push in a more sustainable direction, urban and building designin desert climates. The integration of large scale wind turbines in a building structure iscomplex and needs to be taken seriously as the Client wishes to benefit fromthis project with the knowledge and experience collected from the peopleworking their and then create teams, which will operating in a global manner. As many architects around the world, so does the Atkins, crated team inthe Middle East, which examines innovative design solutions promotingsustainability and have explored the use of integrated wind turbines on anumber of previous projects. The Arabian Gulf with its most importantcharacteristic, sea breeze, the wind climate contributes to the exploitation ofwind energy and let designers to move away from the old traditional solutionsand think about the unidirectional wind turbine as a choice, which are suitablefor the integration of large-scale buildings. Atkins made a research, which provides that the large-scale integrationof wind turbines in projects mainly fails due to the extreme costs connectedwith the adjustment of the building’s design, and the development costs forspecial turbines which are also excessive.
This project seems to have its basisof design, in the use of conventional technologies and the development of abuilt form, which would be pleasant to receive wind turbines. The premium on thisproject, with the wind turbines included, was less than 3.5% of the wholeproject’s value. Atkins and a team full of world best technologists, with the advantageof a favorable wind climate and a design theory that keeps low turbine R&D/ building costs, made a step further with the design and provide the mainissues of: • Producing technically viable solutions; • Balancing energy yield / benefit with investment 2.
As a chief architect responsible for the design of the BahrainWorld Trade Center, can you describe the challenges faced by you in designingthis state-of-the-art structure? The existing Bahrain World Trade Center shows the previous technologicalmethods that set out new standards in sustainable design. It is really important to bear in mind that for anything new andinnovative, you should expect obstacles along the way. This is the reason whyRambøll and Atkins, during the construction and the establishment of the windturbines recognized and solved a lot of potential technical issues. One of themwas vibration, and they managed to solve this by putting rubber bearings at theend of the bridges. Another challenge that their global engineering team managed to dealwith was the lifting of three wind turbines 68 tonnes each, and three bridges11 tonnes each. The cure for this was a 270m crane, which was applied betweenthe towers to solve this problem. Nevertheless, after all the challenges we faced none of them was bigenough to be unable to solve it. Due to the great teamwork and some veryintelligent engineering, we managed to build up a project that is a truesuccess.