Zero-energy community in the UK

There’s a lot of talk of zero-energy (100% renewable energy) urban communities, but not a lot of built examples. The Beddington Zero Energy Development, or BedZED as it’s better known, is a rare exception, developed by the BioRegional Development Group, probably the world’s leading sustainable development firm.

OK, so it may resemble a chicken farm on the surface, but it’s a monumental achievement in sustainability. Completed in Wallington, South London in 2002, BedZED consists of 100 homes, and 15,000 s.f. of work space with major green features including:

– Five minutes’ walk of a train station.
– 8000 s.f. of solar panels (pictured on roof).
– Wind-driven ventilation system (see colored wind cowls on roof).
– Green roofs.
– South-facing homes to take advantage of solar gain through triple-glazed windows.
– Rainwater catchment system.
– 40 electric cars with car sharing program.
– More details here.

The results compared to the UK average:
– 88% less space-heating requirements.
– 57% less hot-water consumption.
– 25% less electricity used, 11% produced by solar.
– 50% less mains-water consumption.
– 65% less residents’ vehicle miles traveled.