Our usual format for blogs is to consider the complications and challenges of a subject, outline what you need to consider, and sign off by saying we can do it better! Well, this time our blog is a little different. We don’t have the answers, but we will pose some questions.
In an earlier blog, we briefly described the requirements of listing, and that while it does not stop changes to a building being made, there is a desire that changes must be in character with the building. Is that desire however compatible with evolving needs of modern living? Here are a few examples:
- Already the demands of recycling and reduced waste collection are causing major problems for Georgian town houses. Built in a time when packaging was limited to a brown paper bag and servants dealt with all matters such as waste removal, the arrival of plastic bins, bags and boxes are proving a nightmare. In a typical converted town house with five flats, you can be looking at fifteen different waste ‘containers’ of various sorts being put out for collection. Not only do these look unsightly outside buildings there is limited storage inside. Often flats cannot easily accommodate them, and leaving them in a hallway is unsightly and both a trip and fire hazard.
- Sustainability is becoming an increasing theme in our lives, and in the not too distant future towns and cities will be banning fossil fuel cars, driving the move to electric vehicles. The transition for those living in the traditional semi may not be that significant with plenty of space for power sockets, but how might this new technology fit with Georgian town house living? Certainly, it won’t be easy to have power cables streaming out from houses to the cars. Perhaps new technology such as inductive charging (picking up a current from the ground) may be a solution, who knows, but unless clear plans are determined and enacted the scourge of the power cable could be as bad as the waste bin.
- Sustainability is not limited to our transport system. Increasingly there are moves towards reducing fossil fuels for energy production, and local energy production through solar panels will become relatively common place. Already there is a challenge hiding such things as satellite dishes behind parapets, how much bigger a challenge will it be to hide large rectangular solar panels?
We don’t have the answers, we hope someone does, otherwise, the nightmare of the plastic bins will start to spread to whole new areas!
Tell us what you think, join the conversation on sustainability and the listed property.