The new wind turbine completes Sky Studios, Sky’s state-
of-the-art broadcasting centre. BSkyB’s brief for a world-
leading, genuinely sustainable HQ challenged Arup
Associates to capture every viable natural resource on the
London site and to radically minimise energy use
throughout. It is the most sustainable facility of its type in
The structure of Sky’s tower is formed of a tapering and
twisting prismatic truss which helps to mitigate aeroelastic
instability by breaking up vortices. As the tower twists up
its height, the direction of the wind relative to the edges of
the tower also changes, changing the direction and location
of the vortices.
The perforated anodised aluminium panels cladding helps
to mitigate excitation from wind, by allowing some wind to
pass directly through the tower, they also reflects the sun
creating an ever changing play of light and shade.
The turbine design is bespoke to the turbine rotational
behaviour and was developed in collaboration with the
manufacturer. Using state-of-the-art aero-elastic
simulation and fatigue analysis the team produced an
optimized design for Sky and also for any ‘Class III’
application of a Northwind 100kW turbine. The dynamic
modes of the tower are optimised to avoid excitation from
the fundamental frequencies of the turbine.
The 60m high turbine represents a UK first agreement with
Heathrow approach control and NATS (National Air Traffic
Control Services) to use radar blanking for wind turbines in
close proximity to runways.
It has the capacity to generate 100kW at peak wind
conditions, 133,000 kWhr/year, equivalent to a petrol car
(70 miles/gallon) travelling 370,000 miles – approximately
fifteen times around the world every year.
The turbine’s power output is currently exceeding
expectations, delivering significant energy at relatively low