BedZed: 100 zero-carbon homes?

BedZED residents have already taken a huge step forward in reducing their impact on the environment while painting an unfadingly positive picture of sustainable cities.

What if cities were no longer seen as a source of problems but as part of the solution? The founders of the Beddington Zero Energy (Fossil) Development (BedZED) have set out to achieve that very goal in transforming a London neighborhood into an eco-village designed to be completely carbon neutral. The aim is to reduce the ecological footprint of inhabitants, based on the One Planet Living model, without sacrificing the benefits of a modern, urban lifestyle.
The BedZED eco-village in London. All rights reserved.

The BedZED eco-village in London. All rights reserved.

Everything here is designed from the outset by ZEDfactory to reduce energy and water consumption wherever possible. Well-insulated homes require less energy for heating, for instance. The eco-village draws part of that energy from photovoltaic panels, wind cowls, biomass and a CHP system. Studies have shown that BedZED residents use 45% less electricity, 81% less energy and 50% less water than the average for people living in the same region.

BedZED has also introduced initiatives to improve the lifestyle of inhabitants, including locally sourced food, recycled waste and reduced traffic. Everyone in BedZED has a garden or on-site allotment to grow vegetables. The neighborhood has also adopted a unique approach to the use of transport and was one of the very first to benefit from a car-pooling program. The strength of the project lies in its ability to group housing, offices, services and leisure facilities in the same place, limiting the need for private cars while creating a strong sense of community, which residents really value.

CO2 emissions for BedZED homes are 40% below the average for UK households. The model works. And it continues to improve towards its zero-carbon goal. Ten years after its official inauguration, the eco-village has successfully shown the world that it is possible to reconcile sustainable development with urban living.
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