A Story About Another World Trade Center...
...This time in Manama, Bahrain. Before I left home for the Middle East, I watched a variety of YouTube videos about Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The video below caught my eye and my attention. Most of the buildings in Bahrain have been designed, architected, and constructed by South African and European companies. This World Trade Center was no exception. But what stands-out for this design was the "Green" building approach. The architect did a great job including wind and solar electrical generating capabilities into the building design as well as specifying coatings for the window glass to minimize the need for cooling.
This building is the first of its kind to employ wind turbines into the design. Only one Danish firm agreed to design, test, and install this wind system -- every other alternative design firm in the world turned down the concept because of the structural issues surrounding the mounting of the wind turbines onto bridges spanning two buildings and a host of other design issues thought to be too hard and too risky. Spend the time to watch the video below -- entertaining and informative.
But, as Paul Harvey used to say, here's the rest of the story. The night I checked into my hotel here in Manama, I went upstairs to the bar to rest and have a drink. Met a Brit there who was here for years installing a water park ride system into the mall across the street. When I mentioned the World Trade Center, he told me that there was another story associated with the building. After the building was constructed but before the wind and solar power generation capabilities were installed, the design teams from multiple companies held a party on an Indian dhow in the Bay of Bahrain.
The dhow was so unsteady that sixteen passengers refused to sail on it. The boat capsized later that evening, killing 58 of the passengers and crew. The dead included 50 senior executives involved in the construction of the Trade Center, a large percentage of the western expat engineering and construction population here in Bahrain.
I guess one lesson learned is never to board a shaky Indian dhow in the Bay of Bahrain, or anywhere else for that matter.