A Greener Buckingham Palace

Sean Lockie
The Queen's London residence is said to cost £2.2million in fuel bills each year. The latest methods and materials could cut its carbon emissions considerably.

Ever wondered how much it would cost to build a green version of Buckingham Palace? The Queen's London residence is said to cost £2.2million in fuel bills each year, but Faithful+Gould calculated that a new energy-efficient replica could be built for £320 million.

Our assessment of Buckingham Palace was part of a review of famous UK monuments, commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Building's magazine, Construction Manager. Our replica palace would take 3.5 years to build, using the latest methods and materials. We calculated that the new palace would emit 4003 tonnes of CO2 per year less than the original.

The preservation of the palace's heritage characteristics was the most important consideration. But a traditional appearance would conceal substantial levels of insulation in the walls, floors and loft space which would pay for itself in two years. The insulation would cut heat loss by up to 90%, compared to an un-insulated building.

Double glazing systems would replicate the 760 traditional windows, cutting heat loss by half. We would add photovoltaic panels, heat recovery systems and ground source heat pumps (subject to tube lines, escape tunnels and nuclear bunkers!). Grey and rainwater water harvesting could reduce potable water consumption dramatically.

The original purchase, build and extension costs, incurred between 1761 and 1913, total around £33 million in today's terms. This included 19 state rooms, 78 bedrooms, and 52 principal bedrooms.

If Her Majesty wants to update, our team is ready to help with a cost effective plan!