Prince Charles has spoken for years about the importance of both sustainability and tradition. He hopes that the two can work side by side in towns, cities and villages to reflect a fundamental harmony between nature and human beings. Through developments such as Poundbury and Newquay he hopes to have put some of his ideas into practice.
The Prince has The Foundation for the Built Environment which is the architecture, design and educational charity wing of the Duchy of Cornwall. Through these he hopes to build places which are versatile and have enduring appeal, he wants villages where people can walk from their house to the shops or to the school where design is rooted in local identity. Prince Charles thinks that these sorts of principles should be the basics of design but they are often not by professionals, but he hopes that times are changing.
Prince Charles's main concerns are that the planet is becoming more and more urban therefore its resources are becoming scarcer. Even though we are adding solar panels to our homes to try and save energy, this is not enough. He feels that we should rethink the way we plan our homes, shops and schools and their relationship with one another. Eco-engineering can learn from Nature and we need to put emphasis on the design of our homes within our communities and use natural resources. Wind turbines and solar panels do not solve the fundamental problems, we need to be building homes designed to demand little or no energy from the beginning.
Prince Charles has worked with his foundation and the Building Research Establishment and Kingerlee Homes to produce the Natural House. It is designed to demonstrate the most effective route to low-energy and low carbon homes built with longevity in mind but with a traditional appeal. Prince Charles admits to being very proud of the Natural House.
The emphasis of the Natural House is on natural low impact materials that not only work well together but can be produced in this country. Although it is based on a traditional approach it has the best new technologies and it built on site by local workforces. The Natural House uses clay blocks and lime based plasters. These reduce the risk of poor air quality and the House also has a breathable wall system which stops mould and damp accumulating. This is blamed on many asthma and respiratory problems so the design in the Natural House helps both the environment and the health of those in it.
The Natural House is being shown at The Ideal Home Show and will be centrepiece there. Prince Charles hopes to show those who visit the House that not all eco homes are strange looking and out of the ordinary and that eco homes are a nice place to live in.
So what are the benefits of his Natural House:
· The House has natural clay tiles which will make the roof last longer and the tiles will not fade in the sun.
· The roof and also the floor will be insulated with sheep's wool.
· Honey-comb like clay blocks will make up the walls which will keep the Natural House warm in the winter but also cool in the summer.
· Heat is retained through the chimney flue which is made of insulated volcanic pumice rock from Iceland.
· The Natural House has triple glazed windows and high ceilings to flood the house with daylight.
· No fans are needed in the house in the summer due to the natural "stack" ventilation which promotes air flow.
Miss Fiona Davies is Sales Director for http://www.uklandforsale.org/
She has worked in the property and land sector for the last ten years. All articles on the website are written uniquely by her.