In mid-2015 the Rotterdam companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters presented the plan for the Dutch Windwheel: an iconic building that will not only contain residential units, but also an attraction. The radical design maximally embraces the possibilities of energy production and experience. It was designed for systematic innovation and reuse and will be built with materials sourced from the Rotterdam region. The philosophy behind the Dutch Windwheel has since reached all corners of the globe: it has received far-reaching international media exposure and was even featured on the Chinese news. By constructing a building as circular, sustainable and healthy as this while achieving the highest energy-producing capacity possible, the initiators expressed the ambition of equipping the Dutch Windwheel with advanced technological solutions, some of which are still in their further development stages.
The development of these technologies is currently in the hands of an innovation consortium composed of Arup, Royal BAM Group, Deltares, Dura Vermeer, ECN, Eneco, Evides, Siemens, SPIE, TNO and the Windwheel Corporation (in which the Rotterdam-based companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters are represented). The goal of the consortium is to drastically improve the quality and sustainability of buildings through the use of climate architecture and advanced technology. The innovation partners are supported by InnovationQuarter, NBTC Holland Marketing, PNO and Rotterdam Partners.
Based partly on the results obtained by the innovation consortium, giant strides forward have been made over the past few months in the iconic building’s design. The principal characteristics of the Dutch Windwheel have been preserved in the latest version of the plan, which was designed under the leadership of DoepelStrijkers and Arup. In addition to this, the building complex will still retain its original functions, including an attraction that consists of cabins (similar to those of a Ferris wheel) that will transport visitors to the highest point of the Dutch Windwheel. The construction aspects have been optimised in the design, and the circular principles for the use of materials and the climate, water and energy systems have been extensively worked out.
Various public-sector organisations embrace the consortium’s ambitions. The Dutch Windwheel is referred to in the regional Roadmap Next Economy as a supporting project for system breakthroughs The project has been proclaimed a regional ‘field lab’ and both the Rotterdam – The Hague metropolitan region and the Municipality of Rotterdam will be contributing to testing the innovations in the region, with a view to ultimately bringing these to the international market. By signing the Green Deal, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Dutch government will be endorsing the potential of the project for the regional economy and employment. The Green Deal comprises the starting point for an investigation into the project’s financial feasibility, its operational possibilities and site-specific requirements.