As part of a conversation about environmental sustainability at the new World Trade Center site, architect Bruce Fowle lives up to his name with insights on migratory birds and their, uh, possible interactions with the wind turbines proposed for the top of the Freedom Tower.
Metropolis: Let?s talk about the Freedom Tower for a moment. There has been criticism about the wind turbines that have been proposed for the top of the building: that they won?t work, and that they will produce a ridiculous amount of vibrations. How feasible are the turbines? Could they actually produce 20% of the building?s electricity?
Fowle: We have researched wind turbines in the past, and it has always brought up the vibration issue, the safety issue, and the bird mortality issue. The WTC is right in the flyaway of migrating birds, and the original WTC was the worst violator in terms of the amount of birds that were killed flying into the buildings at night. They?d either hit it directly or, if it was foggy, get confused and exhaust themselves. So maintenance crews would come out at 5 o?clock in the morning to clean the dead birds off the plaza.· Building Sustainability at Ground Zero: A Talk [Metropolis]
· Freedom Tower to Feature Wind Turbines [US Dept. of Energy]
· Turbine Diagram [Skidmore Owings & Merrill]
· Fox and Fowle Architects [foxfowle.com]