Heat images show Queen lives a life less insulated

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The Independent Online

Politicians are keen for the public to conserve energy but images published yesterday show how they need to get their own house in order.

Politicians are keen for the public to conserve energy but images published yesterday show how they need to get their own house in order.

Photographs taken using a thermal imaging camera reveal large amounts of hot air escaping from the Houses of Parliament.

The same technique found the situation even worse at another of London's famous landmarks, Buckingham Palace, where heat is seen disappearing through its large windows.

The images were published a day before the Kyoto Protocol to combat climate change comes into force. The international agreement sets targets for industrialised countries to cut their emissions of greenhouse gasses, which are partly responsible for global warming.

The photographs were taken using a £40,000 infrared camera by Dundee-based IRT Surveys, which specialises in thermal imaging surveys of buildings and flat rooves.

Areas in white demonstrate the highest temperatures and where most heat is escaping.

Parts of the buildings in red and yellow are only slightly better, followed by green. Blue and purple indicate colder areas and hence where less energy is escaping. The coldest spots are in black.

The image of Buckingham Palace shows all the windows in white and the areas immediately round them in red and yellow, showing significant heat loss.

Stewart Little, managing director of IRT Surveys, said: "It is pretty badly insulated - I would suggest there isn't any insulation at all and that the windows are singled-paned."

London's new City Hall building has a largely glass exterior, yet the image taken of it shows large areas of blue, plus some purple, indicating limited heat loss and therefore good insulation.

However, four glass panels are red and some horizontal beams are yellow, suggesting poor insulation in those areas.

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