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Fins may solve Aedas tower's wind grief

Aedas may add ‘fins’ to its 32-storey Bridgewater Place skyscraper in Leeds – the tallest tower in Yorkshire – in a bid to reduce the effects of ‘dangerous’ winds around its base.

During storms earlier this year roads had to be closed next to the city-centre office and residential block, known locally as the Dalek, and roadside barriers were later installed on Water Lane to protect pedestrians.

According to reports people had been knocked into the street by gusts and others had their glasses blown off their faces.

Now Aedas has admitted it is working with Bovis and the BRE to ‘identify possible solutions’ to what Leeds City Council described as a ‘wind-tunnel effect’.

The practice’s regional director Michael Gardner said: ‘We are presently retesting the base design and developing a test concept that mimics the current site conditions.’

He added: ‘Data collected on site, combined with test results, will help inform the assessment of mitigation measures and ultimately assist with the selection of appropriate actions.’

Leeds-based engineer Garry Palmer, a director of advanced design and sustainable development at Faber Maunsell AECOM, believes the Aedas team will be primarily looking at how to mitigate ‘vortex shedding on the leeward side’ caused by westerly winds.

He said: ‘There are a number of issues that should be considered… the curvilinear facade and its orientation as well as the very close proximity of the building to the junction of busy roads and pedestrian routes.’

It is understood solutions being considered include the addition of canopies above entrances, the introduction of street architecture and adding vertical fins to the facade.

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