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Green plans for Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament could have its carbon footprint slashed by almost a third, a new study has revealed.

A 35 metre high wind turbine on the neighbouring Victoria Gardens and a field of tidal power turbines in the Thames next to the members' terraces could help make the historic 19th century building more environmentally friendly.

A borehole, dug 120 metres into the ground could provide pure drinking water and another, drilled into Black Rod's garden next to the building, would cool the air in the debating chambers instead of airconditioning units.

There are also plans to spend millions fitting double glazing to draughty windows and installing miniature power stations in the cellars to provide its own energy.

According to the plans, the project will cost at least £20 million.

The designs have been drawn up by BDP Sustainability, a firm of engineers and architects who have advised Tesco on improving the sustainability of its stores.

The House of Commons administration committee is scheduled to consider the plans formally early next year.