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Sustainable Buildings: Integrated Photovoltaics and Wind

Imge of Quadruple tower with middle, yaw-able wind turbines for electrical generation and alternative evacuation routesAs global concern and competition intensifies over diminishing fossil fuels reserves, the need to conserve energy, develop renewable resources, and design more efficient ways to build increases.

IIT is combining its recognized expertise in the architecture of high-rise and wide-span sustainable buildings with wind turbines and its patented HoloSun™ solar window technology to design sustainable buildings that represent highly innovative configuration and structural and energy concepts.

Under the auspices of WISER, Professor of Architecture Peter Land is conducting an extensive research program in collaboration with faculty from the chemical, mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineering programs and the College of Architecture to develop innovative, sustainable high-rise buildings that utilize energy and structural concepts that actually produce energy, utilizing renewable resources such as wind, sun, and geothermal.

The main idea underlying the work is to shape a single tall building or a complex so that it performs new functions that accommodate, changing economic and cultural reality. Land and his research group are designing a built environment that is ultra-efficient in its use and conservation of energy, and that incorporates new technologies, materials, and structures that enable a building to generate the energy it requires for its own operation and, in some cases, for export.

The team has recently developed a unique high-rise and widespan structure equipped with wind turbines—the concept for which is being further developed by Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering Professor Dietmar Rempfer using a computational fluid dynamics approach.

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) integrate PV material with the building component skin to create a unique product—a building component with PV functionality. The total integration is realized when the building component and PV element cannot be dissociated. Windows comprised of glass embedded with PV cells generate electricity for use in the building, reducing the owner’s utility costs.

» View Sustainable Built Environment Program Overview