A newly designed futuristic power plant complex, EXOSPHERE, pioneers a unique paradigm for sustainable buildings in the Dominican Republic. Four wind turbines connect a pair of net-zero towers in the “largest building-integrated wind energy system in the Americas,” according to architect Richard Moreta Castillo of Richard’s Architecture + Design (RA+D). But this isn’t your typical power plant; including homes, offices, and even a spa, EXOSPHERE is positioned to vie for the title of the Caribbean’s tallest building.
EXOSPHERE is one of the sustainable developments recently approved by the Dominican Republic government, according to RA+D. Not only will renewable energy power the complex, but surplus electricity will be delivered to the grid. The buildings abounds in energy efficient features such as LED lighting and efficient appliances, which will also efficiently consume water even as the design incorporates the recovery and reuse of rainwater and greywater. Carpeting made with corn and soy-based paint are two neat green interior features.
RA+D considered building height and location to position the “four giant vertical wind turbines” for greater efficiency. According to the firm’s design statement, “The height of the towers helps to funnel and accelerate the wind velocity between them combined with the geographic characteristics of the location; furthermore, the difference in the vertical shape of the towers should help reduce the pressure differences between the bridges, which when combined with an increased wind speed at the higher levels and precisely positioned to collect wind from both the north and south sides, should provide an equal velocity amongst the turbines.”
Wind power isn’t the only clean energy powering the complex. Glazed facades are covered in brise soleils solar panels. A rooftop solar thermal heating system and geothermal heating and cooling adds to the building’s sustainable profile.
Homes, offices, a spa, retail space, a hotel, and a public square are planned for the innovative complex, which could be fully finished in 2020.
Images courtesy of Richard Moreta Castillo