The Eiffel Tower Goes Green
Paris, France— For the first time in 30 years, the first floor of the Eiffel Tower will be completely renovated. While it is the most spacious storey of the tower, it is also reportedly the least visited. The reconstruction project, which began in May 2012 and should be completed by the end of the year, seeks to convert the floor into an attractive tourist, conference, and event location. The tower’s operating company, Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) adopted a sustainable development charter in 2008 to work toward countering the tower’s fairly large carbon footprint. To that end the project will also transform the tower in to a renewable energy powerhouse.
New installations will generate energy with solar, wind, and hydraulic power. Solar panels will cover 10 m2 of the roof of the Ferrié building, providing for half of the hot water needs for two buildings on the first floor. The pavilion will also be lit almost entirely (95%) by LED lighting. Four vertical-axes, helical-blade wind turbines (which produce no noise pollution) will produce 8000 kWh of power per year, with hydraulic turbines, integrated in to the water conveyance network, will produce a further 4000 kWh per year. A rainwater collection system will collect runoff in tanks to provide water for toilet facilities. Lastly, new insulation and air conditioning systems will be installed, with the overall energy performance of the pavilion expected to improve by 30%.