Yes, it's true: you can work in Central London and be back at your green home in 20 minutes. The Beddington Zero Energy Development—BedZED—is a full eco-community, with 100 homes and as many workspaces. The site in Wallington, South London was picked for its great transport links, and clean travel is actually enforced: priority parking is given to electric and fuel-efficient cars and disabled drivers. There's also a car club that's been set up to allow dual fuel cars to be booked for the odd shopping trip or day out, and the infrastructure for charging electric cars is hooked into the solar system. Cycling is encouraged, too. And when you tire of your clothes and furniture, trade 'em in at the swap shop......during a break from growing your own food (training provided).
That's all in addition to the sustainable materials and significant energy savings of the development. Using 52% local materials proved that even in a mega-city you don't have to look far and wide to build. In space heating alone, BedZED reduces energy consumption by almost 90%. BioRegional, who developed the project with the Peabody Trust and Bill Dunster Architects, advertises it as "the UK's largest carbon neutral eco-village."
Sound like some version of an impossible green utopia? Nope. BedZED's been inhabited by real humans for two and a half years. Two 3-bedroom units are for sale now, one priced at £269,950 ($520,500). ::BioRegional [by KK]
One of the units for sale.