Built environment consultancy
Bioregional works with companies in the built environment, communities and local government to create homes and communities that make it easy to live a sustainable lifestyle
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 was located from 2002-2022.
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.
Download the story - everything you need to know about BedZED:
BedZED, in Sutton, south London, has gone down in history as the UK’s first large-scale, mixed-use sustainable community. It has been an inspiration for low-carbon, environmentally-friendly housing developments around the worldDownload PDF
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.
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.
There’s a real sense of shared values as well as a strong community feel at BedZED. Combined with the green space nearby and the layout of our streets, it makes it a special place to live, and quite unique to London living.Dave Tchilingirian, resident of BedZED
BedZED has stood the test of time, though some of its green technologies have been challenging to adopt. Most importantly, BedZED also inspired us to create the One Planet Living framework which now underpins all our work and has been used in billions of dollars worth of property developments worldwide.
We also run regular One Planet Living training courses for people who want to use the framework in their own projects and organisations.
In 2018, we created a wholly owned subsidiary Bioregional Homes to continue our mission to create exemplar communities. In 2020, Bioregional Homes formed a new partnership with award-winning housebuilder Hill Group. Bioregional Hill creates zero-carbon, locally affordable homes with communities, for communities.
This document is for anyone who wants to build or transform a real estate development or tourism destination into a truly sustainable oneDownload PDF