Tower unveiled for Edinburgh project
Robert Boddy, Planning - 25 March 2005
A 25-storey eco-tower featuring 45 wind turbines has been unveiled as part of the Edinburgh waterfront redevelopment.
The building, comprising twin 85m high residential blocks, is expected to be virtually energy self-sufficient, providing residents with low-cost electricity and selling any surplus to the national grid. The turbines, hung between the two blocks, would be low-noise to minimise disturbance.
The tower is being proposed for a brownfield site in Granton currently used as a scrapyard. It was designed by RMJM architects for the development company Waterfront Edinburgh.
RMJM director Tony Kettle said: "Edinburgh is a beautiful city with many historic landmark structures of significant scale. In the redevelopment of the waterfront there is the potential to create structures that say something about our generation. Our concept for a sustainable tower that uses renewable energy expresses that and is a clear signal for the future."
Friends of the Earth Scotland gave the scheme a cautious welcome. "Whether this is the right location for this building is a decision that needs to be taken in consultation with local residents," said head of research Dan Barlow. "However, the idea of embedding renewable energy production in building projects like this is to be welcomed."
He called for such innovations to become the norm for all developments rather than being the preserve of landmark projects. "Proposals like those for homes at Edinburgh Forthside should be thrown out if no attempt is made to incorporate renewable energy production and energy saving," added Barlow.
The Cockburn Association, the capital's civic society, described RMJM's plans as ground-breaking and suggested that the building could become an internationally recognised landmark.
RMJM was involved in the Scottish parliament building at Holyrood and drew up the masterplan for the 170ha development at Leith Docks. Forth Ports hopes to generate at least ten per cent of the Leith site's energy from renewable sources including wind and wave power.