10 Feb 2010 12:02:24
Green building should mean sourcing local materials
Using local materials and workers should be made a requisite of sustainable building, according to a new report.
The report from the Prince's Foundation analysed the impact of using regionally produced clay blocks as part of a large housing scheme and found the impact both environmentally-friendly and economical.
Hank Dittmar, the chief executive of the organisation, said: "Complicated, high tech solutions that require a specialised workforce can achieve energy efficiency, but add little value to the local economy.
"Selecting natural materials, which are produced nearby, retains value and strengthens relationships between firms.
"Simple building solutions such as the clay block allow local builders to be employed instead of importing specialised workers from outside the community."
There would be an estimated economic gain of over £12,000 per house for the local community if locally assembled clay blocks were to be used, according to the report.
In addition, it was calculated that if government targets for 230,000 homes a year were implemented using local materials and workers, 90,000 jobs would be supported annually.http://tinyurl.com/yzks5rm