Nick Woolley, founder of Woolley & Co, former chief land agent of the Prudential and an expert on sustainable building, has highlighted criteria for choosing an eco-architect. Mr Woolly surveyed 100 architects using 17 rules and chose two. He concludes: ‘There are brilliant trailblazers in eco-building techniques, but I would like to see more getting involved. The important factor is that as little energy as possible is being used in building. Too many architects are not changing their construction techniques. Beware also of those who design in the old way and then “bolt on” eco-technology. Ask how the need for major energy systems will be eliminated. No eco-home should have air conditioning. There is also plenty of scope for sexy designs. You can put a shower head as big as a dinner plate if you have an energy-efficient pumping system and eco-water supply’.
These results come as Natural England discusses proposals to ease housing pressure by building eco-homes on green belt. Architectural historian Jeremy Musson comments: ‘Eco-friendly design is the hot issue of our day, but a lot of the questions that arise are complex and not well policed by the planning system. The design process can be informed by the client as well as the practitioner’.
Country Life| October 18 2007October 18th, 2007