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Sensor-Controlled Tower 'Breathes' to Save Energy, Eliminate Office Tornadoes

kwf bankengruppe bullding
A new skyscraper in Frankfurt, Germany has been outfitted with a "pressure ring" façade that, quite literally, allows the building to breathe. Unlike other German towers, which are mandated by law to include windows that open, the KfW Bankengruppe office building doesn't suffer from rip-roaring winds when a casement gets thrown open -- and neither does it endure the energy loss of older edifices.

The KfW tower, designed by architecture firm Sauerbruch Hutton, is expected to consume only a third of the energy consumed by a typical U.S. office building. A "pressure ring" composed of 180 vertical ventilators outside the inner façade responds to changes in air temperature, wind direction and speed throughout the day. A radius of carefully controlled air pressure, which prevents higher-altitude winds from entering, surrounds the building before being "exhausted into the building's core," according to FastCoDesign. An LED panel will suggest optimal times for workers to open the windows, although it's ultimately their own decision. But let's just hope that the computerized tower doesn't go haywire like the one that tried to kill Paul Reiser.

Tags: architecture, frankfurt, germany, green, KfW Bankengruppe, KfwBankengruppe, office building, OfficeBuilding, pressure ring, PressureRing, Sauerbruch Hutton, SauerbruchHutton, Skyscraper, top