Energy update for Spence’s listed homes
HE WAS a world-famous architect famed for changing the face of post-war Britain with his Modernist/Brutalist buildings.
But now, residents of Sir Basil Spence’s Canongate housing project in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile – whose B-listed homes let in the cold and can be expensive to heat – are working with Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) and other bodies to devise the first “energy efficient blueprint” for Scotland’s listed 20th century home.
Spence, best known for his designs for Coventry Cathedral, the Beehive parliament building in New Zealand and Glasgow Airport, was commissioned by Edinburgh Corporation in the late 1950s as part of a major slum clearance programme.
He worked in an era when it was assumed electricity would soon be “too cheap to meter” and incorporated innovative design elements in the project, such as a top-floor drying green, balconies and air vents, which are now causing problems for some of the 30 householders.
EWH, along with Historic Scotland and Edinburgh City Council, are examining how energy-saving measures such as double glazing and cavity wall insulation could installed without destroying a key example of Sir Basil’s work.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West