Solar panels to power London’s City Hall

Photovoltaic panels will be the latest addition to London City Hall's eco-credentials, after their installation was given the go-ahead by Southwark Council.

The 70kW panels were in the plans for the landmark Thames-side building from the start, along with other measures that reduce greenhouse emissions such as natural ventilation, groundwater cooling in summer, and ‘recycling’ of the heat generated by light-bulbs and computers.

The solar panels should cut carbon emissions from the building by 3,000 tonnes over their lifetime, according to the Mayor’s office.

Although the design of the building with its glass walls may seem energy-wasteful, the GLA says its form is actually devised to maximise natural solar heating, while the south-leaning floors protect the interior from the most intense sunlight with their own shadow.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “Reducing carbon emissions in order to tackle the problem of climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity and this renewable energy scheme will provide clean, green energy for the home of London government.

“The solar panels have been expertly designed in order to compliment the shape of the building. As City Hall is now one of London’s most recognisable landmarks it is right that we take a lead in cutting CO2 emissions. I hope that other agencies and firms will now start to copy our lead and install solar panels on their own buildings.’

Grant Brooker of Foster and Partners, the architects behind the building, said: ‘”The installation of photovoltaic cells on the roof of City Hall completes the building as originally designed.

“The installation is the most apparent and physical manifestation of the building’s sustainable design agenda. We totally support the Mayor in his goals and we hope that City Hall will act as an inspiration to others designing sustainable buildings in our capital.”

Allan Jones, CEO of the London Climate Change Agency, said: “This project will install photovoltaics solar energy into the design of City Hall and will provide an excellent example of a renewable energy flagship project which due to its iconic design and landmark location will be seen by 3.1 million people a year.”

More information on City Hall can be found here.

Goska Romanowicz

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