BedZED is the UK’s first large-scale, mixed use sustainable community with 100 homes, office space, a college and community facilities. Completed in 2002, this pioneering eco-village in south London suburbia remains an inspiration for sustainable neighbourhoods and our One Planet Living Communities across the world. It is also Bioregional’s headquarters.
A world famous eco-development
BedZED continues to attract visitors from around the world. This award winning development was designed to achieve big reductions in climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and water use. It sought to make it easy for people living there to have a greener, lower impact lifestyle, relying less on private cars and producing less waste. Most importantly, BedZED has turned out to be a great place to live.
The project was initiated by Bioregional, developed by The Peabody Trust in partnership with Bioregional  and designed with architects, ZEDFactory (also based in BedZED) and Arup  engineers. Peabody is one of the largest and longest established providers of social housing in London. The homes range from one bed apartments to four bedroom houses. Half were sold on the open market, one quarter were reserved for social (low cost) rent by Peabody and the remaining quarter for shared ownership, a lower cost way of owning a home.
  • Bioregional developed its ten One Planet Living principles out of our experience in planning, building, working and living in BedZED. Now we apply them to all of our work. This pioneering eco-village has influenced and inspired a new generation of One Planet Communities and eco towns.
  • For one three person BedZED household using an on-site car club car instead of its own vehicle, we estimated total annual savings in transport, water and energy bills at £3,258 a year, compared to an average London household with its own car.
  • On average, BedZED homes sell for about 5 to 10% more than homes of the same size in the surrounding area.
  • Even though BedZED is, by suburban standards, a high density development, most homes have private outdoor space and many have small gardens. The whole development shares a square and a large playing field.
Sustainability built in
The great majority of BedZED’s houses and flats are passively solar heated using multi-storey glazed sun spaces facing south. The homes are all very highly insulated but also well ventilated using the distinctive and colourful wind cowls on the roofs. Here, fresh outside air is drawn into the building and pre-heated by outgoing stale air via heat exchangers.
A gas-fired communal boiler supplies hot water for the entire development via an underground mini-district heating system. A large hot water tank in each home helps to keep it warm in winter as well as storing hot water.
BedZED’s buildings use concrete to store heat in blockwork and floor and ceiling slabs, helping to maintain a comfortable and even temperature night and day throughout the year.
Extensive photovoltaic (PV) panels, on the roofs and incorporated into south facing windows, supply some of BedZED’s electricity. Any surplus PV power is exported into the local grid. Energy efficient appliances and lighting were installed when BedZED was completed in 2002.
The eco-village also saves water, with dual flush toilets, aerated flow taps and shower heads and low water consumption washing machines installed throughout. Water meters are easy to view in the homes.
Low impact construction
High ambitions
Visiting BedZED