In BedZED you find plentiful green spaces, recycling facilities, water saving features, and a legally binding green transport plan. The 82 homes, and 1,405 square metres (15,120 sq ft) of work space were built in 2000–2002. The BedZED Development design meets very high environmental standards, with a strong emphasis on roof gardens, sunlight, solar energy, reduction of energy consumption, and waste water recycling. In terms of materials, BedZED is built from natural, recycled, or reclaimed materials.
Solar techniques & hot water from centralized heat and power plant
Using passive solar techniques, houses are arranged having south
facing terraces to maximize heat gain from the sun. Each terrace is
backed by north facing offices, where minimal solar gain reduces
the tendency to overheat and the need for energy-hungry air
conditioning. A centralized heat and power plant (CHP) provides hot
water, which is distributed around the site via a district heating
system of super-insulated pipes. Should residents or workers
require a heating boost, each home or office has a domestic hot
water tank that doubles as a radiator. The CHP plant at BedZED is
powered by off-cuts from tree surgery waste that would otherwise go
to landfill. To reduce the embodied energy of BedZED, construction
materials were selected for their low-embodied energy and sourced
within a 35-mile radius of the site when possible. The energy
expended in transporting materials to the site was therefore
The entire development has been designed to encourage alternatives to car use. A green transport plan promotes walking, cycling, and use of public transport. A car pool for residents has been established, and all these initiatives have helped to provide a strategic and integrated approach to transport issues. BedZED’s target is a 50% reduction in fossil-fuel consumption by private car use over the next 10 years compared with a conventional development. BedZED was the first low-car development in the UK to incorporate a car club, “ZEDcars.” It also follows a “pedestrian first” policy, including good lighting, drop curbs for prams (strollers) and wheelchairs, and a road layout that keeps vehicles to walking speed.
For more information on this inspiring project, please also read this article on the Inhabitat-website.