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Thread: Eco-Tower, Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. #1

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    Eco-Tower, Edinburgh, Scotland

    This was featured in our Planning magazine last week, and I thought I'd share it with you all. Sounds very interesting (to me anyway ) and could be a great landmark building.

    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.



  2. #2
    Sounds good - when can I move in?

    Quote Originally posted by noj
    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.
    Coincidentally, there's starting to be a gathering movement in conservation that has a problem with (some) brownfield sites being used. It's generally those that have been 'derelict' and undisturbed for a few years, or have areas that are like that, because they get rare, 'colonising' species. (It's due to nutrient levels and competition, which I can explain any time, if anyone wants to be bored. ) Anyway, from the looks of it, this development is onlikely to be doing that. I wonder if it has a brown/green roof as well?
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally posted by Journeymouse
    Coincidentally, there's starting to be a gathering movement in conservation that has a problem with (some) brownfield sites being used. It's generally those that have been 'derelict' and undisturbed for a few years, or have areas that are like that, because they get rare, 'colonising' species. (It's due to nutrient levels and competition, which I can explain any time, if anyone wants to be bored. ) Anyway, from the looks of it, this development is onlikely to be doing that. I wonder if it has a brown/green roof as well?
    I'd heard that too. One of my concerns when the whole PPG3 increasing density thing came in was that some valuable inner city species-rich areas may be developed in preference to some vapid intensively farmed green field land. Something that has to be watched out for I guess....

    Mind you, a lot of these areas are in floodplains too (which also adds to their biodiversity) - as always its a question of balance.

  4. #4
    Sorry, I'm about to go off at a tangent again!

    Urban wildlife havens are an interesting 'problem' - they tend to have more instances of rare species than their rural cousins, but more pressure to be used in some way, either as a public amenity (which is a good thing if done properly) or as a new development. I agree with 'mitigation', but think that it has little value if there isn't some provision for public access. After all, most 'derelict' land might be considered an eyesore, but it doesn't stop people using it as a park - it effectively becomes common land - so to redevelop and 'mitigate' without thought for public access is extremely offensive, IMO. From what I've seen, wildlife 'zones' are usually a very small percentage of the original derelict area, so can hardly be considered a balance! But at least they are publicly accessible and often handed over to conservation bodies such as the Wildlife Trusts to run.

    My personal preference/ideal, would be for developers to commit to large scale, green and brown roof 'parks'. Particularly for shopping, office block and appartment/flat block developments. They would (eventually) provide the same wildlife functions over about the same area and would ensure that there are people around most of the day (helps prevent crime), as well as saving on the energy bills. Plus it appeals to the science fiction fan part of me .
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

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