Building-Integrated Wind Energy: Connecting Aesthetics and Performance



We investigate ideas for Building-Integrated Wind Energy (BIWE) by combining technical, environmental and aesthetic research and design studies. Both interdisciplinary education of and research in sustainable architecture and technology are addressed, with the prospect to expand the gained knowledge to practice and outreach. A focus lies on the exploration of BIWE in middle-rise buildings in Pennsylvania with the objective to study the potential impact on our immediate surroundings from interdisciplinary viewpoints of architecture, architectural engineering, wind turbine technology, landscape architecture, and meteorology.

In Fall 2010, the study was implemented in an academic architectural design studio taught by Ute Poerschke and Malcolm Woollen, and supported by lectures on wind turbines and wind behavior around buildings by Jelena Srebric and Susan Stewart. A symposium and workshop with invited experts furthered the design investigations and research. In Spring 2011, the findings were introduced in two courses on energy engineering and geographic information systems (GIS), taught by Susan Stewart and Tim Murtha.

The project forms a test-bed for new strategies and place-based approaches for implementation of wind turbines in buildings and, at the same time, enables the project team to educate students at our University to become interdisciplinary leaders in BIWE and renewable energies. The study involves four departments (Architecture, Architectural Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Meteorology) across three colleges (Arts and Architecture, Engineering, Earth and Mineral Sciences) plus the Applied Research Laboratory.

Research and Design Activities





Design Studio


  • The Stuckeman Collaborative Design Research Fund, The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
  • PSIEE Sustainability Seed Grant Program, Penn State
  • The Raymond A. Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction of the Built Environment, Penn State

Return to Research