Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CIS Solar Tower

Built in 1962 in Manchester(UK) to host the British insurance company CIS Ltd. head quarters, the CIS Tower was suffering the from its 40 years exposure to pollution.

The building, that was the highest in Europe when was built and still is the second highest in Manchester, had millions of little mosaic tiles covering its windowless fa├žade, but due to time and pollution, these tiles were falling down. A long term repair was needed.

Gary Thomas, Head of Property and Facilities, had the idea of turning the building in a giant solar panel in 2000. And in 2004 the transformation began.

A few years, 7244 photovoltaic panels and £ 5.5 millions (around $ 11 millions) latter, the 400ft building turned into a giant solar power plant that generates 390kW, 181,000 units of renewable electricity each year - equivalent to the energy needed to full power 55 homes for a year.