Image from epogee.co.uk
Buckingham Palace is leaking heat and energy. It comes top of the "dirty dozen" league of London's most environmentally damaging buildings. An analysis of this thermal photo gave it a score of 0 out of 10. But help is near: a group of civil engineers have worked out how much it would cost to build a new modern, green, replica of Buckingham Palace.
They have calculated that for a mere £330M, not including the land, you can get 19 state rooms, 78 bathrooms, and 52 principle bedrooms, with 775 separate areas including hallways and staircases in total. Given the Palace's tourist and historical value, this hardly rates the wretched excesses department.
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Buckingham Palace last year spent £2.2 million on utility bills. The biggest problem is the 760 windows that are single-glazed. By replacing them with double-glazed reproductions, they could cut heat loss by half. Substantial insulation in the walls, floors and loft space would pay for itself in as little as two years. The insulation would cut heat loss by up to 90% compared to an un-insulated building.
Faithful+Gould, a part of the Atkins engineering design group, claim that "Further carbon reductions would be achieved by installing photovoltaic panels, heat recovery systems and ground source heat pumps (subject to tube lines, escape tunnels and nuclear bunkers!) whilst grey and rainwater water harvesting could reduce potable water consumption ."
Using a carbon calculator they also assessed that the new Palace would emit 400 cubic tons of CO2 per year less than the original.
The total cost would be £330M ( US$ 531M). This is approximately ten times the original purchase, building and extension costs which would have been £33M in today's terms. The whole project would take three and a half years.
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Just for fun (!), they also calculated the cost of rebuilding Stonehenge at £815,000.