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Project information

Client:  Yorklake Ltd

Project Date: 2004

Site Location: London, United Kingdom

Project Status: Construction Finished

Generating as much energy from renewable sources in a yearas it consumes (2004)

BowZED is a block of 4 flats, just off the Bow Road in East London. Each flat benefits from its own south-facing terrace and conservatory, which have enough photovoltaic cells incorporated into the glass to meet at least half of the occupants’annual electricity demand. The other half is planned to be met by a recently installed micro wind turbine mounted on the communal stair tower. Finished to the high levels you would expect for a modern urban ‘for sale’ development, the building has also been built to ZEDstandards. This means the levels of insulation and thermal mass are such that no central heating system is required. The flats obtain enough heat from occupants, the solar gain from south-facing windows, and incidental gains from cooking and appliance use. This enables a single 15 kW wood pellet boiler to supply the whole block with hot water and backup heating.

This building reconciles 21st-century concerns for fossil fuel reducing use with those of fitting into an existing historic urban fabric. A pallet of materials has been chosen that attempts to meet both these concerns. Yellow London stock bricks from the same brickworks that would have supplied the Victorian builders of the area, have been combined with a modern yellow terracotta block that reflects the smooth render details seen on the terrace opposite. All other materials have been chosen for their robustness in a hard urban street and for their environmental performance and durability. This building shows how a Zero (fossil) Energy Development (ZED) can be delivered on a tight urban site as a conventional development opportunity. The sales prices for the flats achieved by the developer were better than expected, and well above local comparable property showing there is a healthy appetite for eco housing in the marketplace.

2005     Housing Design Awards

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