Since the Prince isn't likely to become King, he's been hard at work through his Foundation for the Built Environment to further sustainable development and green building. His latest project has been to develop an eco-blueprint for UK homes - "a prototype for viable, sustainable, volume housing, which delivers low carbon homes that provide comfortable, attractive, healthy and adaptable environments for their occupants." In May 2011 a model of the home debuted at the Ideal Home Show, and just yesterday another version, the Natural House, was unveiled at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford. The Natural House was developed with the help of Natural Building Technologies and Kingerlee Homes, and is a classic Georgian-style home featuring clay blocks, sustainably sourced (FSC) timber, sheep wool insulation and a tight envelope of wood fiber.
The Natural House is a two-story villa with a traditional terraced-house form designed and built to show the most effective route to a low energy, low carbon building is through an effective building envelope. The home was constructed using NBT ThermoPlan® (an extruded clay block building system that is highly insulative because of the air pockets), NBT Pavatex wood fiber and Thermafleece sheep’s wool insulation. Passive stack insulation helps move fresh, cool air into the home in the warmer months, and high ceilings and triple-paned windows infuse the home in daylight. The roof is covered in durable clay tiles, and the floors and windows are made from FSC certified timber.
So far the home has been built twice – once for the Ideal Home Show in May, where the Prince debuted his prototype and now at the BRE Innovation Park, where the Natural Home will undergo a program of testing and assessment. The prototype can be modified for a range of home types and family needs, including reconfiguration as a family homes, maisonettes or smaller flats. Natural, non-toxic materials and non-mechanical ventilation is utilized throughout to provide a healthy indoor environment. Durability and longevity were also high priorities, and the home is expected to last over 200 years.
Images ©Prince’s Foundation