Two cutting edge apartment buildings in the heart of Britain’s premiere seaside resort have brought sustainable living into the mainstream and achieved commercial success.
Mainstreaming One Planet Living
One Brighton builds on the lessons learnt from BedZED, our pioneering suburban eco-village, and is the first One Planet Community to be completed in the UK.
Developed by Crest Nicholson and BioRegional Quintain, this complex of 172 apartments plus offices, community space and café in two multi-storey blocks next to Brighton’s main train station is saving its residents money, giving them a greener, healthier lifestyle and radically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and water consumption.
One Brighton also turned a profit despite going on sale during the depths of the recession. And it has provided 54 affordable new homes in one of the most expensive UK housing markets outside of London with 31% of its apartments allocated for shared equity or social housing. A further 11% were built as low-cost “Eco-Studios” offering people a first rung on the housing ladder.
Bioregional used the ten One Planet Living principles to draw up a sustainability action plan covering all phases of One Brighton’s life – from early design and planning through construction into its occupation and use in 2010. In 2014 we published a review into its performance against challenging One Planet targets set for 2020 and the lessons learned.
Among the headline results are:
- Successful planning consent and marketing of UK’s largest private car free development
- Pouring of greenest concrete frame in UK – post-tensioned concrete comprising 50% ground granulated blast furnace slag and use of 100% secondary aggregates
- A 67% reduction in operational carbon emissions compared to the UK’s existing housing stock, with potential to achieve an 89% reduction by 2020, approaching the (near) Zero Carbon target for One Planet Communities.
- Successful introduction of the first designed-in rooftop mini-allotments, inspiring the local planning authority to introduce an award-winning Planning Advisory Note on Food and Planning.
One resident was quoted as saying: “We moved into One Brighton, sold our cars and adopted a healthier lifestyle. In 18 months we lost 35 kg between us.”
The highly insulated, triple glazed buildings designed with architects Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and built by Denne under a design and build contract are heated by woodfuel pellets. Electricity is sourced from a green power provider through the development’s own energy services company.
Bioregional has also published a detailed life cycle carbon footprint for One Brighton carried out by Australia-based life cycle analysts eTool.
Carbon savings would be even higher if the biomass boiler fulfils its potential and operates for 90% of the time. There has been significant downtime when gas back-up has supplied the heat instead of wood pellets. We are now looking to improve boiler performance so that operational, year to year emissions are cut by 89% compared to the typical UK home, in line with our target for near zero carbon emissions.
An independent assessment also demonstrates that One Brighton’s re-sale and rental values outperform local benchmarks.
About the developers
Crest Nicholson Bioregional Quintain was a special purpose vehicle initiated by Bioregional with financial backing from leading London developer, Quintain Estates and Development PLC in a joint venture with one of the UK’s top ten house builders, Crest Nicholson PLC. Crest Nicholson is a leading UK house-building firm which aims to be the market leader in the design and delivery of sustainable housing and mixed use communities.
Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios are an award-winning UK architectural practice with an international reputation for design quality, for pioneering environmental expertise and a radical architectural approach.