By Heidi Glaus
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KSDK) - It is St. Louis company that began in 1918 and over the years has built everything from automotive plants to hospitals throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
"We also do a lot of things like stadiums and dams and bridges. We have the bridge over the Mississippi that we are building right now," says John Alberici, Chairman of the Board for Alberici Corporation.
Of course what seems to pique the interest of most people here in St. Louis is the wind turbine that towers over Alberici's corporate office at Page and 170.
"In fact some people have said generates more attention than it does electricity," Alberici says with a laugh.
But the blades turning 85 feet above the building do more than attract attention.
"Oh it does power the building and on a good day and we've certainly had some recently that were very powerful winds that would have run everything in the building," Alberici says.
Mother Nature, however, doesn't always provide those big gusts so a better estimate is it accounts for 20 percent of the building's electricity.
"It will turn at 6 miles per hour or so, but it will generate electricity at around 8 miles an hour," Alberici says.
The wind turbine isn't the only way the building is energy efficient.
"We also have some water pre-heat systems that run by solar," Alberici says.
They've restored a native prairie which eliminates the need for an irrigation system and have retention ponds to hold storm water runoff that is filtered and used for flushing toilets. All of this helped the building attain a platinum rating on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program.
"It's still the third highest rating of any building in the world," Albericii adds.
Proving maybe we should take notice of the entire property not just what towers above it. Then again the wind turbine is pretty darn cool.
"It was ground breaking at the time and is still probably unique at least for one this size," Alberici says.