BedZED was initiated by Bioregional and developed by Peabody Trust in partnership with Bioregional and ZEDfactory architects. Completed in 2002, the UK’s first large-scale, mixed-use sustainable community comprises 100 homes, office space, a college and community facilities. It is also where our main office is.
The story behind the world-famous eco-development
The idea for BedZED was conceived in 1997. Bioregional, architect Bill Dunster and engineers Arup were looking for an opportunity to create a zero-carbon eco-village. And our co-founders Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai were looking for a new, green office!
Sutton Borough Council was selling a plot of undeveloped open land for housing development near Beddington Farmlands. Alongside developer Peabody Trust the project partners managed to secure the land and construction began in 2001.
How Bioregional helped
BedZED was designed to achieve big reductions in climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and water use. We wanted to make it easy for people living there to have a greener, lower impact lifestyle, relying less on private cars and producing less waste.
Bioregional acted as sustainability advisors to the design team, steering green transport planning, renewable energy solutions, the selection and sourcing of construction materials and a ‘green lifestyles’ programme to residents and businesses in transport, local food and composting initiatives.
This included helping develop the sustainability strategy in collaboration with the project partners, with new and ambitious benchmarks in areas such as energy efficiency and greener construction.
What did BedZED achieve?
After it was completed in 2002, BedZED became famous for the scale of its ambition. It remains, arguably, the most ambitious attempt at all-round sustainability in a major new housing development and has attracted thousands of global visitors.
It won the Housing Design Award for sustainability from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2001 and was shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize in 2003.