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  6. Shapps warns about green homes ‘eco-bling’

Shapps warns about green homes ‘eco-bling’

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has warned that Scandinavian-style "eco-bling" homes risked becoming the architectural norm, as house builders prepared to go zero carbon in 2016.

He urged architects to go back to their drawing boards, and start finding ways to 'green up' the traditional “Great British” home.

His comments came as he opened the 'Natural House', a low-carbon property developed by the Prince's Foundation at the Building Research Establishment in Watford. The property has been constructed to a traditional design using new low-carbon and low energy technologies.

The minister argued that the ‘Natural House’ demonstrated that British design could still retain a presence in English neighbourhoods and need not be replaced by Scandinavian-style, 'eco-bling' properties that "wear their green credentials for all to see".

He said: "We all know the Scandinavian-style homes that feature on property programmes - wearing their green credentials for all to see. These are popular and display a high quality of design and craftsmanship. But a lack of creativity could mean this eco-bling dominates our neighbourhoods in as little as five years - I am clear that the beginning of zero carbon does not need to mean the end of Great British design.

“I want developers and designers to go back to their drawing boards and see how they can 'green up' our traditional, British properties. People want to buy homes, not causes and just because a home is greener does not mean it can't reflect the character of the local area.”

Read the Department for Communities and Local Government news release.


Roger Milne

30 June 2011