Posted 03 June 2011, by Augustine Anthuvan, MediaCorp Pte Ltd, ChannelNewsAsia, channelnewsasia.com
LONDON: Locals here have dubbed it “Teletubby-land” because of these distinctive coloured wind cowls coupled with the sky gardens.
These multi coloured wind funnels moving around slowly each time the wind blows provide ventilation into homes while minimising heat loss. This is one of the many distinct features of BedZED, which is short for Beddington Zero Energy Development.
Environmentally friendly housing development projects like these are crucial because a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions comes from energy used to heat homes.
Britain has some of the oldest building stock in Europe – drafty homes, poorly insulated, leaking heat, using energy inefficiently with consumers paying the price. But with the government’s new emphasis on the “Green Deal”, where buildings are meant to be brought up to date, all that might change.
The Green Deal programme is simple – help every household, especially old properties, make energy efficiency investments with no upfront cost and recoup payments through a charge in instalments on the energy bill.
However, the estate, which is breaking the mould of traditional British housing, is already taking urban sustainable development to new heights.
Jennie Organ, communications manager with the Bio Regional Development Group at the BedZED Centre, said: “The first thing that we see are…wind cowls. Because we got so much insulation, we need to help get some more fresh air into the buildings and bring out the stale air. So they just work with wind power, sucking out the stale air and bringing in that fresh air so its nice and comfortable inside.
“And then we’ve got the solar panels…they’re bringing us roughly about 20 per cent of our electricity. And also you’ve got all of this glass here facing south that’s bringing in free light and heat into the homes, so we’re reducing our heat and electricity bills. It’s also really pleasant. its lovely to live in a bright lit home.”
All homes face south and have glass “sun spaces” plastered with photo-voltaic cells to generate electricity. A three bedroom property will cost about 250,000 pounds. There are 26 different property layouts in the estate.
Plans are already underway to bring this type of eco-living to China.
Daisy Chen, programme assistant of One Planet Communities / BioRegional Development Group at the BedZED Centre, said: “So now we have two projects in China. One is in Chongqing in the west of China working with the Chongqing government to develop the Two Rivers New Zone area.
“And the other one is in the south, in Guangzhou. That’s with the China Merchant developers and we are actually developing an 8,000 homes project to help bring one planet living to China”.
The people behind BedZED aim to provide affordable housing at no cost to the planet to as many communities as possible.