Integrated wind turbines will provide up to 15% of power for Atkins' Bahrain World Trade Center

The Atkins-designed Bahrain World Trade Center, the first commercial building in the world to incorporate large-scale turbines to generate power, has seen its wind turbines spin together for the first time.

The building's sail-shaped towers channel the strong on-shore winds directly onto the three 29m-diameter turbine blades, which are expected to provide 11-15% of the building's power when fully operational.

Turbine specialist Norwin, which collaborated with Atkins, will carry out detailed analysis and optimisation over the next few months to determine and maximise the generating potential of the turbines, which should operate around 50% of the time.

Simha LytheRao, senior project manager for Atkins in Bahrain, said: “Having all three turbines spinning simultaneously represents an historic achievement for this landmark project and Atkins is excited to have been a major player in turning the original idea into reality.

“The use of established technologies, including type-tested turbines with minimal modifications, ensured that the additional cost incurred by incorporating turbines into the project was reduced to around 3.5% of the overall project value, making it not only an environmentally responsible but also a financially viable venture.”

The scheme has received international recognition for its contribution to sustainable development, including Best Use of Technology within a Large Scheme at the Leading European Architects Forum Awards in 2006 and, more recently, the Arab Construction World Sustainable Design Award. Atkins also won Engineering Consultant of the Year 2008 at the Building Awards.