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Goldschmied reveals the windmills on his mind

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RIBA president Marco Goldschmied is ready to take on the planning authorities in his bid to 'green' the institute's headquarters at 66 Portland Place.

He said last week that he is considering erecting 20m tall wind turbines on the Grade II*-listed building.

Goldschmied revealed the radical plan ahead of the publication in July of a sustainability audit of the building. He said he wants to harness wind energy and also build a series of roof-top vegetable gardens to supply food to the RIBA's food outlets.

In April, the president pledged to make the headquarters building a model of sustainable development (AJ 20.4.00) and three solar panels were hung on the building's facade over windows. This was to draw attention to the current exhibition, 'London Living City', which focuses on the environmental impact of urban living. But now Goldschmied wants his sustainability policy to be backed with action. He is also keen to show the government that listed buildings can be made more sustainable if planners accept such radical proposals.

The RIBA's house architect, Allies & Morrison, is drawing up the sustainability audit alongside services consultant Max Fordham & Partners. Allies & Morrison architect Robert Maxwell said that the audit will propose a number of alternative energy sources to the building's electricity-powered boilers, which have only one year of life remaining.

The report will also present some more aspirational measures for the sustainability of the building in the longer term. However, he warned that the RIBAshould not antagonise local authority planners with outlandish proposals.

'You couldn't possibly put a windmill on a Grade II*-listed building, ' he said.

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