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The UK's first large-scale mixed use eco-village and sustainable community. Completed in 2002, BedZED is still an inspiration for low carbon neighbourhoods that promotes One Planet Living across the world, developed in partnership with Peabody Trust and Bioregional.


Bill Dunster Zedfactory Architects



24 Helios Road, Wallington SM6 7BZ

Sat 10am-1pm. Guided tours on the hour. Max 15 per tour.

Hackbridge, Mitcham Junction

127, 151

  • Access for wheelchair users
  • Green features
  • Toilets available

BedZED Introduction Sustainability, both environmental and social, is fundamental to the Peabody Trust mission to fight poverty in London. The Trust works to develop desirable homes and build thriving communities with a long-term future. The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is the UK_s largest carbon-neutral eco-community _ the first of its kind in this country. BedZED was developed by the Peabody Trust in partnership with Bill Dunster Architects and BioRegional Development Group, environmental consultants. BedZED is a mixed-use, mixed-tenure development that incorporates innovative approaches to energy conservation and environmental sustainability. It is built on reclaimed land owned by the London Borough of Sutton, sold to Peabody at below market value due to the planned environmental initiatives. Peabody Trust manages the housing at BedZED and BioRegional Development Group and Bill Dunster Architects are based close by. Completed: 2002. Developer: Peabody Trust. Architect: Bill Dunster Architects. Environmental Consultant: BioRegional Development Group. Background The BedZED design concept was driven by the desire to create a net _zero fossil energy development_, one that will produce at least as much energy from renewable sources as it consumes. Only energy from renewable sources is used to meet the energy needs of the development. BedZED is therefore a carbon neutral development – resulting in no net addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. What are the features of BedZED? The design is to a very high standard and is used to enhance the environmental dimensions, with strong emphasis on roof gardens, sunlight, solar energy, reduction of energy consumption and waste water recycling. BedZED provides 82 residential homes with a mixture of tenures, 34 for outright sale, 23 for shared ownership, 10 for key workers and 15 at affordable rent for social housing _ with a further 14 galleried apartments for outright sale. The homes are a mixture of sizes and the project also includes buildings for commercial use, an exhibition centre, a children’s nursery and a show flat so that visitors may see what it is like to live at BedZED. The buildings Buildings are constructed from thermally massive materials that store heat during warm conditions and release heat at cooler times. In addition, all buildings are enclosed in a 300mm insulation jacket. BedZED houses are arranged in south facing terraces to maximise heat gain from the sun, known as passive solar gain. 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. BedZED_s architecture BedZED has been designed to address environmental, social and economic needs. It brings together a number of proven methods – none of them particularly high tech – of reducing energy, water and car use. Crucially, it produces affordable, attractive and environmentally responsible housing and workspace. Key features include: Using renewable materials Where possible, BedZED is built from natural, recycled or reclaimed materials. All the wood used has been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council or comparable internationally recognised environmental organisations, to ensure that it comes from a sustainable source. Space heating Through the innovative design and construction, heat from the sun and heat generated by occupants and every day activities such as cooking is sufficient to heat BedZED homes to a comfortable temperature. The need for space heating, which accounts for a significant part of the energy demand in conventional buildings, is therefore reduced or completely eliminated. BedZED homes and offices are fitted with low energy lighting and energy efficient appliances to reduce electricity requirements. To enable residents and workers to keep track of their heat and electricity use, meters are mounted in each home and office kitchen. Combined heat and power plant BedZED receives power from a small-scale combined heat and power plant (CHP). In conventional energy generation, the heat that is produced as a by-product of generating electricity is lost. With CHP technology, this heat can be harnessed and put to use. At BedZED, the heat from the 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. Wood is a carbon neutral fuel because the CO2 released when the wood is burned is equal to that absorbed by the tree as it grew. Green transport plan Transport energy accounts for a large proportion of the energy consumption of any development. 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. The BedZED project shows that it is possible to reduce reliance on cars and introduced the first legally binding Green Transport Plan as a condition of planning permission. BedZED_s target is a 50% reduction in fossil-fuel consumption by private car use over the next ten years compared with a conventional development. BedZED has been designed to encourage alternatives to car use. BedZED has good public transport links, including two railway stations, two bus routes and a tramlink. An onsite Car Club called _ZEDcars_. BedZED was the first low car development in the UK to incorporate a car club. A _pedestrian first_ policy with good lighting, drop kerbs for prams and wheelchairs and a road layout that keeps vehicles to walking speed. BedZED is designed along _homezone_ principles that have benefited communities in continental Europe for many years On-site charging points for electric cars and a free public electric vehicle charging point is already available in Sutton town centre. BedZED_s 10-year target is to produce enough electricity from photovoltaic panels (which convert sunlight into energy) to power 40 electric vehicles. It is hoped that a mixture of private cars and vehicles available through the car club will minimise fossil fuel use as the community settles. For owners of electric vehicles energy and parking will be free of charge. Reducing _embodied_ energy Embodied energy is a measure of the energy required to manufacture a product. A product that requires large amounts of energy to obtain and process the necessary raw materials, or a product that is transported long distances during processing or to market, will have a high-embodied energy level. 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 where possible. The energy expended in transporting materials to the site was therefore minimised. Education and employment BedZED has become an excellent learning centre for sustainable development, attracting considerable local, national and international media coverage and interest. The project also demonstrates imaginative ways of creating employment and funding the provision of affordable homes, with grants from the Housing Corporation supporting the development of the homes for shared ownership. Peabody also worked hard with Sutton Council to ensure that the properties available for shared ownership were as affordable as possible. Results Numerous lessons were learnt during the construction of BedZED and in the years since residents first moved in during March 2002. The surrounding community was consulted during the development process and the new community has integrated well. The new residents are proud of where they live and consider that they are living somewhere special. Thanks to the commitment of residents, design innovation and social initiatives, a strong community at BedZED was established quickly. Reductions in energy and water consumption during construction have been supported by consumption figures during occupation that are way below UK averages. The scheme has enabled residents to live a sustainable lifestyle without making severe demands on routines. Peabody Trust has produced a residents’ handbook and a green lifestyles officer at BioRegional offers advice to residents. A car club has been established that reduces car ownership and improves accessibility for those who are unable to afford a car. BedZED and beyond Peabody and BioRegional are monitoring the performance of BedZED_s features as well as resident satisfaction. The long-term success of the community can therefore be assessed alongside the short-term success of delivering a unique and truly innovative new development. BedZED has also received widespread acclaim in the media and has won industry awards. Although it has no plans to develop further eco-schemes on the same scale as BedZED, Peabody Trust remains committed to sustainability in its social housing. Schemes do not need to be as pioneering as the BedZED project to be innovative. Other Peabody housing developments, both old and new, incorporate key features that promote sustainability and support the environment. In order to reverse the trend for increasing carbon dioxide emissions from housing an imaginative reappraisal is needed of the way homes are built. BedZED demonstrates that comfortable, attractive, affordable and energy efficient buildings are the homes and workplaces of the future. Awards: * Civic Trust Sustainability Award 2004 * Finalist for Office of the Deputy Prime Minister_s (ODPM) Award for sustainable communities 2003 * Housing Design Awards 2003: Completed scheme award * RIBA Journal sustainability award 2003 * Finalist for the Stirling Prize 2003 * Finalist for the World Habitat Awards 2002 * Building Energy Globe Award 2002 * Building Services Award for Innovation 2002 * UK Solar Awards 2001 * Housing Design Award for sustainability 2001