Kate and William’s Home Contractor: Al Gore?

Megan Van Schaick

kate and william estate
Part of the new royal estate
When you think “monarchy,” I doubt “eco-conscious” springs to mind. The thought of the Queen (in her crown, of course) and her brood watering the royal roses with grey waters makes me seriously LOL.

But times, they are a-changing. Don’t expect to see a series of yurts on the grounds of the new estate that Prince Charles is preparing for Kate and William -- but there are some very surprising, very green things in the works at the Herefordshire property, where the couple will move after Wills leaves military service.

The list of eco-friendly materials being used reads like something out of Al Gore’s wishlist.

The 6-bedroom “starter” mansion is being built from the ground up (on a mere 900 acres that includes newly restored artist-in-residence housing, a chapel, and stables). Here are some of the coolest, greenest things about the royal couple’s country digs.

Rainwater collection -- The actual reservoir only holds about 50 gallons of rainwater, but it will be constantly recycling that water for use in the house and around the grounds. (I’d imagine that with Britain’s weather, it will be quite busy!)

Eco-friendly sewage system -- A reed-bed system has been installed, which is exactly what it sounds like. Reed beds are normally found in floodplain-type areas and are rich with pollutant-destroying micro-organisms. The gross water that enters the bed leaves it completely free of pollutants. Cool!

Salvaged materials -- Have you caught on to my love for salvaged materials yet? This one is my fave. Salvaged slate from Wales is the roofing material of choice. Insulation under the roof is sheep’s wool, and volanic ash components will be used to help insulate the walls, which are made from stone (quarried on site) and recycled brick.

Sustainable heating -- No doubt the 8,500-square-foot main house takes a lot of power to heat. Solar panels will provide quite a bit of that energy and the rest will be provided by a wood-chip boiler fueled by wood from around the estate (don’t worry, they’re also planting more trees).

While I joke about the starter mansion and privileges the royals enjoy, I really do love the fact that they’ve not only chosen to be so environmentally responsible with the construction and restoration of the estate, but they’ve also set a super accessible example for all of us. Okay, so I can’t go out and put in a special reed bed to replace my Brita, but I can at least collect 50 gallons of rainwater in a giant drum.

Does the greening of the royalty inspire you in any way? 


Image via The Daily Mail

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