My gut tells me that at this point in time and with our world’s scientific knowledge, there is no excuse for building something that isn’t energy efficient on at least some level. Luckily, even large scale, high profile construction projects are on the same bandwagon.
The New York Power Authority and UTC Power are hooking up to create one of the world’s largest fuel cell installations. The
This project, like any similar project in our country, doesn’t come without a few feathers to stick in one’s hat. At times, that seems like the whole reason behind some eco-friendly construction. The incorporation of these fuel cells scores points for LEED certification, a significant goal for all the WTC tower projects. Then, there is also the symbolism, which, honestly, I think really does go a long way in promoting green thinking among the general public:
"One of the most important building projects in the nation will be equipped with space-age energy technology that uses an electrochemical process to produce clean on-site power," Gov. David Paterson said. "The fuel cells and other measures will help make the new World Trade Center towers an exemplar of environmental sustainability and will signal to the world New York State's commitment to greater energy security and reduced dependence on foreign oil. I can think of few sites in the country where the symbolism of this is more important."
Symbolism aside, fuel cells may not have been the best bet for generating power, considering some other ideas that could have been utilized on buildings of this scale. For instance, solar windows, solar panels on the roof, wind microturbines…all of which cart around less negative impact than fuel cells. There are quite a few tower projects that could be used as examples for better ideas. But, steps are steps are steps.
written by Benjamin Bach, June 18, 2008
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