Scheme Summary

This mixed tenure development for rent and sale, comprises 82 apartments, maisonettes and houses; 1695m2 of workspace; and community buildings including a health centre, nursery, organic café/shop and sports club house. Construction began in 2000 and completion is programmed for January 2002.

Scheme Details

Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is an environment friendly, energy efficient mix of homes and workspaces. The development will transform the site of a disused sewage works. It is designed to be constructed in a sustainable way that will enable residents to live in a sustainable way. It has been developed to complement the London Borough of Sutton's Local Agenda 21 principles, in association with the local community.

Peabody Trust has worked in partnership with environmental specialists BioRegional and Bill Dunster Architects to develop a flagship development that aims to be easily replicable.

When the land was sold by the London Borough of Sutton, a disposal precedent was set. The DETR approved the sale of the land due to the environmental and sustainable benefits of the proposal, despite there being a higher commercial bid.

Environmental Features

The units are built to be energy efficient, using highly insulated concrete and block walls and concrete floors, to provide high thermal mass.

The buildings are orientated to maximise passive solar gain. Living spaces are positioned to face south, and workspace units face north. Integral conservatories, or sunspaces, provide light and heat gains, and additional seasonal living space. Shading canopies are integrated in the design to prevent over-heating. In this high density development, private open space is created through sky-gardens on the workspace roofs.

The units will not be heated by the usual wet radiator heating systems. To complement passive solar heating, heat generated by everyday activities, eg cooking, will be collected in vents to warm fresh air for dispersal throughout the home.

Other energy and heat demands will be met through an on-site combined heat and power unit. Carbon neutral wood burning technology will produce heat and some power. The unit will be fuelled by tree surgery waste. This waste would otherwise end up as landfill. Any excess power will be exported to the national grid.

Rainwater and grey water recycling systems have been designed to flush WCs and irrigate conservatories. Rainwater will be collected from roofs and stored underground. Grey water will be recycled from sinks and baths. These systems complement simpler water saving features, including low flush WCs, showers and efficient washing machines/dishwashers. Together these features could reduce mains water consumption by 75%.

Paints, floor coverings and finishes provide allergy and formaldehyde free solutions for a healthier home.

Materials, were sought within a 35 mile radius of the site, and selected from renewable or recycled sources, wherever possible. All timber is Forest Stewardship Council approved from sustainable sources.

The development goes beyond construction and energy efficiency and considers wider sustainability issues. The provision of workspace and shared office facilities will encourage local and homeworking, boost local economic development and reduce the need for commuting.

A transport strategy has been developed to maximise choice, lower environmental impacts and reduce residents' and workers' reliance on the private car. A car pool and points for charging electric cars, a new bus stop and secure bicycle storage will be provided.

Biodiversity is also addressed through the redevelopment. The area of land adjacent to the development is a former landfill site. This is to be transformed to greenspace, ponds and lavender fields, and an area of tree coppicing for energy crops. A wetland area designed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust will provide a new habitat and filter 'black water' from WCs to be used to fertilise energy crops.


The total cost for the residential units is approximately 7 million (930/m2). The workspace units cost approximately 1.3 million (752/m2) and community space 805,000 (636/m2). The CHP system costs 640,000 (61/m2 per total building area) and 330,000 for the sports facilities. The total construction is about 10.1 million. Resident savings are anticipated to be high with average annual heating and energy costs to be 25% of a comparable home. The additional revenue from the provision of workspace is used to finance the development's sustainable specification. It is considered that rents from office space could make the difference for future environmental/sustainable developments.

Contact: Malcom Kirk,
Peabody Trust,
45 Westminster Bridge Road,
London SE1 7BJ
Tel: 020 7928 7811
Fax: 020 7261 9187