Know Which Way the Wind Blows
In 20 years, Interior Design Hall of Fame member Rand Elliott never entered a competition.
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2011 5:32:00 PM
In 20 years, Interior Design Hall of Fame member Rand Elliott never entered a competition. Then the economy struck. When he saw eVolo magazine's online call for entries to design a commercial high-rise for the location of his choice, he thought, Why not? "Ideas are never wasted. The process fosters growth," he says.
Though Elliott + Associates Architects has never built a high-rise, Elliott has plenty of expertise about his native Oklahoma City. "I know it better than anyone. It's all about weather, specifically wind," he says. Indeed, winds averaging over 12 miles per hour make the city the second-windiest for its size in the U.S., and turbines would generate an excess of the energy needed for his 50-story Turbinomics tower. There'd be no "pinwheel gizmo stuck on top," he clarifies. Instead, a magnetic field would hold turbines in a vertical position around the building's perimeter, in niches between floor plates below the communications spire.
Elliott didn't win the competition in the end. But he did validate his idea by testing a 4-foot-tall model in a wind tunnel. Domestic and international patents are pending.