Best practice: London
One possible future for sustainable housing could be something like The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) in Hackbridge, London (left). Built in 2002 BedZED includes 82 homes and 1,405 square metres of workspace. The experimental development incorporates solar panels, a treewaste cogeneration plant, triple-glazed windows orientated to make best use of the sun, rainwater recycling, water and energy efficient appliances and building materials selected for their low impact on the environment. Residents are also encouraged to make use of a car-pooling scheme and to grow their own vegetables in allotments in a nearby field. While some of the key facilities have not functioned as designed, the resulting homes have shown a 25% reduction in electricity use and a 50% drop in water use when compared to the average home in the area, and residents’ car use was only one third of the national average.