BedZED case study - from BRE

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A very thorough case study of BedZED from the experts at the Building Research Establishment. Includes a chapter on the future of eco-developments.

Published March 2002
Pages 36

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Located in the London Borough of Sutton, the Beddington Zero-Energy Development (BedZED) is a joint initiative of the Peabody Trust and BioRegional Development Group. Their objective was to enable people to live sustainably without sacrificing a modern, urban and mobile lifestyle. For example, BedZED incorporates a Green Travel Plan, which minimises the need to travel but promotes alternative methods of transport where travelling is necessary. In the words of the developers, the aim was to make sustainability ‘easy, attractive and affordable’.

Apart from producing no net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use, BedZED meets targets across a range of environmental, social and economic concerns:

  • environmental – low-energy and renewable fuel, including biomass combined heat and power (CHP) and photovoltaics (PVs), zero net carbon emissions, water saving, reclaimed materials, Green Travel Plan, biodiversity measures, and private gardens for most units
  • social – mixed tenure, two-thirds affordable or social housing, lower fuel costs, healthy living centre, community facilities, sports pitch
  • and ‘village square’, crèche, café
  • economic – locally sourced materials, workspace for local employment and enterprise, locally available renewable energy sources.

At the time of its design and construction, BedZED represented state-of-the-art for sustainable housing in the UK. The project won an award for excellence in RIBA’s Housing Design Awards in July 2000, two months after construction started. This General Information Report describes the various elements featured in the scheme. The authors, BedZED architect Bill Dunster and Glyn Carter of co-developers BioRegional Development Group, aim to encourage the kind of holistic strategies essential if architects, developers and
planners are to:

  • reconcile higher-density living with an improved quality of life
  • protect agricultural and green belt land from urban development
  • reduce the global environmental impact of urban regeneration in the UK
  • support local economies and communities
  • source good materials and energy within the local bioregion.

Published by BRE
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