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uk zero carbon attempt

“The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is the UK's largest carbon-neutral eco-community the first of its kind in this country. BedZED was developed by the Peabody Trust in partnership with Bill Dunster Architects and BioRegional Development Group, environmental consultants.

“BedZED is a mixed-use, mixed-tenure development that incorporates innovative approaches to energy conservation and environmental sustainability. It is built on reclaimed land owned by the London Borough of Sutton, sold to Peabody at below market value due to the planned environmental initiatives.” [Quoted from peabody.org.uk]

marker at abelard.org

“Unfortunately, four years on, there have been problems. Electricity and hot water for the site were supposed to have been supplied by a wood-burning combined heat and power generator which, it was promised, would provide all the electricity and hot water that residents would need. It soon became clear that there wasn't enough hot water, and gas boilers had to be installed.

“last year, the CHP generator THEN, stopped working completely, and BedZed has had to buy electricity from the National Grid. A new CHP generator is now being installed. BedZed also installed an state of the art eco-sewage system, which would clean waste water by running it through a reed bed.

“Very green, but unfortunately this happened to falter as well, something the site's founder, architect Bill Dunster, blames on 'management problems', and promises that it is about to get going again.

“There are also arguments between the architect and the environmental consultants about just how much carbon has been saved by all this effort.

“There are other difficulties, like the hidden environmental costs in the construction of all this kit, but that's another thing the eco-warriors would rather not discuss.”

“Carbon-free homes may be a wonderful dream for the future, but most of us live in existing houses, and at the current rate of replacement, 70 per cent of the existing housing stock will still be around in 2050.

“So we'd be better off trying to make existing houses more eco-friendly, with dull but sensible initiatives like cavity wall insulation, hot water lagging, loft insulation, draught proofing, and improved heating controls.

“The [UK] Government does have a grant scheme to help with these. This year it contained the princely sum of 6.5million, and ran out half way through the year. Pathetic.

“So the Chancellor's zero-carbon homes are, for the foreseeable future, nothing but a giant green photo-opportunity - a gimmick which will have virtually no environmental impact at all.” [Quoted from dailymail.co.uk]

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