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Prince Charles Questions "Green" Buildings

Oct 12, 2008

Source: Copyright 2008, Press Association

Quoted from:



The Prince of Wales has criticised the "green building industry" for relying on eco-gadgets like wind turbines and solar panels to justify inefficient buildings.


The Prince called on developers to use traditional methods and materials alongside the best in "eco-technology" to solve the problem of creating environmentally friendly properties instead of opting for "slick, highly marketed techno-fixes".


His comments received a mixed welcome from Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, who said they would provoke a healthy debate but risked undermining the efforts of the UK's emerging green building industry.


In the foreword to a green supplement in the magazine House & Garden, the Prince wrote: "Why, I must ask, does being 'green' mean building with glass and steel and concrete and then adding wind turbines, solar panels, water heaters, sedum roofs, glass atria - all the paraphernalia of a new 'green building industry' - to offset buildings that are inefficient in the first place?


"That many of these add-ons are mere gestures, at best, is now clear, as their impacts on home energy consumption can now be measured and usually offer scant justification for the radical nature of the design."


Experts believe small-scale energy generation can help in the push for more renewable energy with businesses, communities, schools and homes playing their part by installing items like solar panels for heating, biomass boilers and combined heat and power supplies.


In December last year, the Government outlined a multi-million pound Government scheme to fund schools to install renewable energy sources such as wood-burning boilers, wind turbines and solar panels to cut carbon emissions.


Charles added: "We must act now, by using traditional methods and materials to work with nature rather than against her, while incorporating the best of contemporary eco-technology in an integrated and sympathetic manner."


Speaking about the Prince's comments, Mr King said: "In a way he is right - there are examples of high-profile buildings being passed off as 'green', when the most important thing is to reduce environmental impacts through good design in the first place.


"However, he risks undermining the efforts of UK's emerging 'green building industry', the vast majority of whom are designing an increasingly large number of fantastic buildings - not just environmentally sound, but excellent architecture in their own right."


Typical Reaction from the Architects


Attack the messenger rather than fix the problem. Criticism of any kind is bad because "green" is good; don't criticize green because that would prevent people from adoption green. The interesting thing is that Prince Charles actually "gets it" but his rather astute observations are downplayed! —JWL





Copyright 2012 Ronald Sauve All Rights Reserved

This page was last modified on April 06, 2012

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