In a bid to develop a building that meets high sustainability standards, as well as embodies circular economic principals, a consortium of Dutch companies are developing the Dutch "Windwheel". Arup is one of the companies involved in the development of the new, soon iconic, buildings in Rotterdam – and provisions the design phase with a range of advisory services.
Windmills are iconic to the Netherlands; the use of wind-power was a key feature in the dredging of the country's famous polders, reclaiming land for, among others, agriculture. In an effort to redevelop the windmill, the Dutch "Windwheel" project was launched in Rotterdam. The project creates a space in which to accelerate a range of innovative technologies in the area of renewable energy and the circular and inclusive economy.
The "Windwheel" itself seeks to intersect energy, water, technology and building technology – including an example of EWICON technology, whereby electricity is generated by wind without the need for moving parts. The building, like the Ship of Theseus is created in such a way that it can be dynamically upgraded piece by piece – and moved – as needed, and as new technologies and best practices arise.
The "Windwheel" is being developed by a consortium of partners, including Arup, Koninklijke BAM Groep, Deltares, Dura Vermeer, ECN, Eneco, Evides, Huawei, Mammoet, Siemens, SPIE, TNO and the Windwheel Corporation (in which BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters are represented).
The building, which will stand 174 meters tall and consist of two rings, will house a hotel, apartments and an attraction. Arup’s role in the development of the new prototype for sustainable building development includes feasibility studies as well as continued support through the current phase of the project’s development. The firm has worked on key concepts related to the development of the project, including advisory related to sustainability ambitions for structures, logistics and fire safety, energy, material and waste, circularity and context can be translated into technical specifications.
According to a spokesperson, “New technologies and business models will be used to develop a building that will be capable of adjusting itself over time. Important factors include the highly differing lifetime of building elements and the ever growing potential for the building to generate energy. The goal is that by 2025, the building will generate more energy than it uses and will be flexible in its use. The innovation programme already anticipates that technologies will become more efficient. Foreign investors are interested in financing the Dutch Windwheel and the accompanying innovative products and services.”