Prince of Wales Says 'Green' Architecture Does Not Have To Be Modernist

Prince Charles makes a case for the commercial viability of green housing with traditional design, as opposed to the modernist styles typically associated with the future of low carbon homes.
December 16, 2008, 6am PST | Mike Lydon
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"On the outside, the latest house to be designed by the Prince's Foundation looks like more of the same. It has a hipped roof, ground floor railings, sash windows, columns and imposing chimneys, which adhere to all the foundation's teachings on correct proportion.

But according to the foundation's chief executive Hank Dittmar, the true inspiration for the experimental home - which goes on site at the Building Research Establishment's innovation park near Watford next month - lies further afield at Taos Pueblo, a 1,000-year-old American Indian settlement in New Mexico.

Dittmar believes the solid wall adobe construction used at the Unesco world heritage site could pose a challenge to the more overtly modern eco-homes built at the park, including the Lighthouse by Sheppard Robson, the first home to have achieved level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

At the heart of the foundation's Natural House project - first revealed in BD almost a year ago - is the use of lightweight clay blocks, fired in a low-energy manufacturing process, the serrated edges of which fit together to create simply constructed, highly insulated walls. These will be combined with other "time-tested" materials such as lime and hemp render, timber and sheep's-wool insulation."

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Published on Friday, December 12, 2008 in Building Design
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