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Rising 174 metres from the sea the Dutch Windwheel will be an icon for design and technological innovation.   The building will incorporate two 3d rings constructed from steel and glass housing restaurants, a hotel, apartments and commercial property.  The outer ring will be contain 40 rotating cabins that will allow visitors to view both the city of Rotterdam and underwater as the foundations of the building will be underwater.


The key innovation is the use of EWICON (Electrostatic, WInd CONversion) technology, which converts wind energy into electricity through a framework of steel tubes without any moving mechanical parts.  The technology was developed jointly at the Delft University of Technology  andWageningen University with Dutch government innovation funding.  This technology reduces many of the disadvantages of conventional wind turbine technology such as wear, maintenance costs, noise and moving shadows.

The Dutch Windmill aims to be a showcase of sustainable innovation and incorporates many other sustainable features including rainwater harvesting, biogas production and integrated photovoltaic systems.  The building has been designed for whole life sustainability with the principles of local-sourcing applied where possible and provision for disassembly and re-use at end of life.

The project is being spearheaded by the Rotterdam-based consortium the Dutch Windwheel Corporation who are currently forming an implementation alliance.

Images courtesy Dutch Windwheel Corporation

Ali Nicholl
About the Author
Innovation Network Manager @BRE_Group helping companies to innovate within the built environment. All opinions my own.

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