Strata SE1, London

At 43 storeys, Strata SE1 was the tallest building in south London when it was completed. It is home to more than 1,000 people and is the first ever building with wind turbines integrated into the building form itself.

Strata SE1 had to be a commercially viable residential development, but also – as the highly visible flagship project of the multibillion-pound regeneration of Elephant and Castle – it had to demonstrate impressive sustainability credentials.

Wind turbines at the top of the Strata SE1 High Rise, London | WSP

Integrated wind turbines had not been done before, so we had to resolve all of the technical issues without any previous experience to go on.

There are three turbines inset into the very top of the tower, which are expected to provide up to 8% of the building’s energy needs. The wind turbine enclosure itself is equivalent to a five-storey building. WSP had to look at how turbines were supported, what the loads would be, and the effect of the building’s form on the wind flow.

There were also acoustic issues – the blade arrangement and acoustic protection were designed to minimize disturbance to residents of the penthouses and the tower’s neighbours.

Strata SE1 also incorporates a number of sustainable innovations, including a high-performance facade with an air permeability leakage rate 50% better than current regulations, low energy and presence detecting lighting, and a vertical district heating system which negates the need for boilers to each unit.