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Under construction as part of the regeneration of London’s Vauxhall district, the 180m, 52-storey One St George Wharf will contain a plethora of sustainable technologies designed to reduce its environmental impact. Building Test News reports »


esigned by architects Broadway Malyan, One St George Wharf, known as The Tower, is expected to be finished in 2013 when it will become the UK’s tallest wholly residential tower. It is also designed to be one of the UK’s most sustainable buildings. Broadway Malyan director Peter

Crossley describes the building as “an elegant and timelessly classic piece of design”. But while aesthetics are important, they do not tell the whole story. “It is exceptionally sustainable and will act as a catalyst for regeneration in the surrounding neighbourhood. We expect it will quickly become a familiar and friendly landmark to Londoners and visitors alike.” Pioneering green technologies showcase

Broadway Malyan and developer St George’s commitment to sustainable development. Despite its glassy façade, it will require only about 30% of the gas and electricity used by a conventional tall building, with consequent reductions in CO2

over its lifespan. Energy savings will come from a

sophisticated, triple-glazed façade with interstitial blinds, a low-emissivity coating, sky gardens that act as a thermal buffer, and openable windows to lessen residents’ reliance on air-conditioning. A 10m vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT)

at the top of the tower, designed and built by UK-based green-technology

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company Matilda’s Planet will generate an estimated 20,000kWh of energy per annum, enough to light the tower’s communal areas. The building will also draw water from a below-ground aquifer and use ‘heat exchange technology’ for heating and cooling.

> Innovative solution

For developer St George one of the key issues at the design stage was the transfer of noise and vibration from the turbines to the buildings. “By applying some creative thinking and some ‘new and unique’ design features, our VAWT produces virtually zero noise and has minimal vibration characteristics. Some of the design features we’ve included, such as direct drive, high torque and anti-vibration bearings, mean that any natural harmonics have been neutralised,” explains Paul

By applying some creative thinking our VAWT produces virtually zero noise and has minimal vibration characteristics”

> Key design features

One of the key features of the VAWT, which was originally designed by Dr Tony Mewburn-Crook, is its aerodynamic design. This makes it extremely efficient and able to operate in very low wind conditions (as low as 3m/s). It is self-starting, unlike many other designs which require an electrical energy source to pulse-start. It is also built to self-regulate, through use of a specially designed control system. “This means it can operate at a constant

Wind turbine at the tower’s peak

Prickett, technical development manager at Matilda’s Planet. “The mass and rigidity of the steel

structure also greatly reduces the risk of noise and vibration in operation. The rotors have been developed from high- spec composite materials used in the aerospace industry, making them both durable and lightweight.”

September / October 2012

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