Mainstreaming One Planet Living

One Brighton builds on the lessons learnt from BedZED, our pioneering suburban eco-village, and was the first One Planet Community to be completed in the UK.

Above: One Brighton shows that net-zero homes can be a commercial success

Developed by Crest Nicholson and Bioregional Quintain, this complex of 172 apartments plus offices, community space and café in two multi-storey blocks next to Brighton’s main train station is saving its residents money, giving them a greener, healthier lifestyle and radically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and water consumption.

One Brighton also turned a profit despite going on sale during the depths of the recession. And it has provided 54 affordable new homes in one of the most expensive UK housing markets outside of London with 31% of its apartments allocated for shared equity or social housing. A further 11% were built as low-cost 'Eco-Studios' offering people the first rung on the housing ladder.

Bioregional used the ten One Planet Living principles to draw up a sustainability action plan covering all phases of One Brighton’s life – from early design and planning through construction into its occupation and use in 2010. In 2014 we published a review into its performance against challenging One Planet targets set for 2020 and the lessons learned.

Zero-carbon living

The highly insulated, triple glazed buildings designed with architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and built by Denne under a design and build contract are heated by woodfuel pellets.

Electricity is sourced from a green power provider through the development's own energy services company, One Brighton Energy Services (OBES), a not-for-profit company set up to supply 100% renewable energy on an affordable basis to the residents of One Brighton. The company operates and maintains the biomass boiler, photovoltaic array and the associated communal energy distribution system.

Bioregional has also published a detailed life cycle carbon footprint for One Brighton carried out by Australia-based life cycle analysts eTool.

Carbon savings would be even higher if the biomass boiler fulfils its potential and operates 90% of the time. It currently provides between 60 and 70% of the total heat, with gas back-up supplying heat for the remainder of the time.

One Brighton Energy Services is constantly seeking ways of creating further carbon savings, including adding further insulation to the pipework and positive engagement with residents to reduce overall energy use.

An independent assessment also demonstrates that One Brighton’s re-sale and rental values outperform local benchmarks.

Land and nature
Successful introduction of the first designed-in rooftop mini-allotments, inspiring the local planning authority to introduce an award-winning Planning Advisory Note on Food and Planning

Travel and transport
Successful planning consent and marketing of UK’s largest private car free development

Materials and products
Pouring of greenest concrete frame in UK – post-tensioned concrete comprising 50% ground granulated blast furnace slag and use of 100% secondary aggregates

Zero carbon energy
A 67% reduction in operational carbon emissions compared to the UK’s existing housing stock, with potential to achieve an 89% reduction by 2020, approaching the (near) Zero Carbon target for One Planet Communities.

One Planet Living is our vision of a world where we can live happily within the Earth’s resources, and a straightforward framework to achieve this
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Patrick Clift
Director of Communications and Partnerships

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