I read with dismay your article on on-site renewable energy with its premise that the building profession shouldn’t have to start thinking about renewable energy while there is still more to be done to make buildings more energy efficient.
The problem is that there will always be more that can be done to make buildings more energy efficient but there comes a point at which the necessary measures would have a significant detrimental impact on the variety of design that can be produced. Highly insulated, windowless boxes are undeniably energy efficient but are unlikely to be popular with clients.
As Building Regulations have been made progressively tighter to reduce energy consumption, the cries that design will be compromised have increased. However, through a combination of energy-efficient design and on-site renewable energy generation we can build sustainably and imaginatively.
The integration of renewable energy generation into design is a new challenge for the architectural profession but there are well developed solutions out there, such as building integrated PV panels, that are practical in an urban environment and won’t have an adverse impact on a building’s design.
Aidan Morris, Lafarge Roofing, Surrey