BedZED sustainable community

by Katleen De Flander

Project by: BioRegional, ZedFactory, Peabody Trust
Project Name: BedZED
Project Links: BioRegional , ZedFactory

Picture credit: BioRegional International

BioRegional: “Beddington Zero Energy Development is the UK’s largest mixed use sustainable community. It was designed to create a thriving community in which ordinary people could enjoy a high quality of life, while living within their fair share of the Earth’s resources.” Here is the Video!!!

Video credit: BioRegional International

I have never visited BeZED but it always looked very attractive to me. I have just been reading up on the criticisms on this project. It seems that the planned waste wood powered small scale CHP (combined heat and power) plant didn’t work (making it not a zero carbon development), they failed to attract enough workspace tenants (it was supposed to be a mixed-use development), there is ‘contaminated’ run-off water from green roofs, underperforming photovoltaic cells, a lack of privacy for residents, noise problems between the buildings and some other issues.

Picture credit: ZedFactory

However the fact that a large housing association is building with these standards means that sustainable building has been taken out of its niche and is making it into the mainstream and this is really going on the right track. I truly appreciate the fact that high density, community facilities and services, mixed-function and incentives for lifestyle change by means of simple and cheap measures are given a lot of attention.

Of course new housing can contribute only for a small part to overall CO2 reductions (the existing housing stock is playing a much bigger role) but nonetheless, goals should be set as high as possible because it is a lot easier to “prevent” by taking things into account during the design process than to “reduce” afterwards.

Picture credit: ZedFactory

Published on 30. August 2011
by Katleen De Flander


a reference blog on resources, urbanisation and transformation


The driving thought behind this BLOG is that we are in the need of a major transition in thinking and we need to get inspired. We have to approach ‘living’, ‘moving’, ‘using’, ‘creating’ in a different way. Many designers, urban planners, architects and other creative people are frontrunners for change and frontrunners need to be appreciated and shared.

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The team

Katleen De Flander
Katleen De Flander
Urban Environmental Research
Architect | Urbanist | Project Curator
Juan Pablo Ayala-Cortés
Juan Pablo Ayala-Cortés
Industrial Designer
Social Scientist


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