When the lights switch on and the fountains rise, the World Trade Center will take on a new life that deepens the poignancy of the complex as more than buildings, but as a place of national renewal and remembrance.
For the last eight years, engineers from infrastructure giant Siemens have been working with the World Trade Center design team to guarantee that when the site comes back to life, it will be ahead of its time as a showpiece of the energy future in New York and the US.
“After 9/11 we were looking for ways to help,” Siemens Consulting Business Developer Robert Jensen told Breaking Energy. Jensen has a personal attachment to the site, being a long-time resident of the area, and said that Siemens’ Building Technology unit got involved in the design and engineering process early on.
Electricity in immense volumes will be delivered by Con Edison to the site, where it needs to be transformed into the low and medium voltage that consumer applications require. Siemens has been working on $12 million worth of contracts to handle those delivery systems. The company’s technology will control parts of Manhattan’s new tallest skyscraper, and will control the Memorial Fountains and emergency ventilation on the much-anticipated transportation hub running under the site.
While much of the rest of New York struggles with outdated transmission and electricity infrastructure, the new World Trade Center will use the two-way communication devices that are part of the smart grid future proposed for the broader US electricity sector.
Rapidly evolving technology compounded the design impact of multiple construction delays, allowing for updates and revisions that mean the new World Trade Center will be at the forefront of the latest electricity technology. Jensen cited the broadcast tower at the highest point of the site as an example of design revisions – as construction was delayed, the required size and power requirements of the broadcast tower continued to change, requiring updates but also guaranteeing cutting-edge technology for the tower.
Photo Caption: Construction workers look up at the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site which is lit in red, white and blue on September 8, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are preparing for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan which resulted in the deaths of 2,753 people in the attacks on the World Trade Center.