Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dance in the Wind

LiveScience reported A series of rotating buildings based on Dynamic Architecture will be built around the world, starting in Dubai, U.A.E. The Dynamic Architecture concept was introduced by Florentine architect David Fisher. The rotating buildings get their electrical power from wind turbines that are placed between floors and which rotate freely with the wind. Additional power is provided from solar cells on the tops of the individual floors.
Wind turbines and solar cells are nice, but why waste the energy rotating entire floors of the building?
Each individual floor is able to rotate slowly, based on commands issued by the owners of condos or apartments on that floor.
What if there is more than one apartment on a floor. Who decides? And this might be nice if there was just one tall building, but when you get a bunch of them next to each other, what sort of view would you have.
I assume that the building owners can also take control, for coordinated movements of the floors. Note that the rotation of the floors is slow and uses power - the rotation of the floors does not produce power. The building is constructed around a central core; each floor is composed of individual pie-like sections that are pre-built and hoisted up the central core (see illustration). The builder claims that rotating buildings can be constructed by just ninety people on the construction site; compare this to the typical skyscraper construction site, which may have up to 2,000 workers at a time.
I would rather see the effort put into making it easy to fight fires in the building, faster elevators, etc. I wonder how stable the building would be in an earthqake.
AllahPundit blogged The buildings are wind-powered so they’re dirt cheap to run and the floors are all prefab so they’re dirt cheap to construct. Soon enough they’ll be mentioned in a Goracle speech, where he’ll note with a mix of sadness and alarm that our commitment to conservation trails that of the Middle East.

JadeNYU commented It also brings up an interesting questions, will they stop the spinning during prayer times so that people can be absolutely positive that they are facing Mecca? I realize that it’s a very slow spin. Still, if you are extremely devout and your prayers take a while, you can start out facing Mecca and end up facing Tel Aviv *gasp*.

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