Ashley Vale is a community and self-build eco district in the heart of Bristol. Taking nearly fifteen years to complete, Ashley Vale consists of 17 buildings, all of which are self built by the community. The resulting buildings are diverse, and demonstrate a completely non-doctrinaire aesthetic, which is both individual and inspiring. Ashley Vale illustrates where self-build can be taken if the community are committed to and engaged with the process of self-build. For more information on community-self build projects in and around Bristol, visit the Bristol Community Land Trust.
Ashley Vale is also where a number of national self-build organisations are based.
Lancaster Co-Housing is the first Passivhaus Co-Housing project in Britain. Standing beside the river Lune, outside the North Western town of Lancaster, the 2.5 acre site comprises 41 homes, all of which attain code 6 for Sustainable Home standard. Designed by Ecoarc the project also includes community facility’s, workshops, offices and studios in a redesigned mill. Lancaster Co-Housing demonstrates the Passivhaus system being put to use for community ends.
LILAC stands for Low Impact Living Affordable Community. LILAC recently opened after several years preparatory and participatory work. Six varyingly scaled block houses are home to the first 21 LILAC residents, living in this inner-city and contemporary version of Co-Housing localism in Leeds. The LILAC site includes allotments, community and individual gardens and is considered a pioneering example of new style community localism.
LILAC has been designed through community participation with the Bristol practice, White Design. The Low Energy housing uses ModCell straw bale cassettes and structural cross laminated timber, two cutting edge ‘bio-based’ building materials. See here.
North West Cambridge – This major development on 150 acres of University of Cambridge owned farmland, was granted planning permission in 2013. The website claims “the development will be an exemplar of sustainable living, with residential dwellings built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and non-residential homes will be BREEAM Excellent,” and includes use of water management, energy and waste systems, and a Green Travel plan “to encourage residents and neighbours to lead sustainable lives.”
North West Bicester is the one remaining live Eco-Town that has survived since New Labour originally announced the Eco-Towns programme in 2008 (down from a mooted 20 and a firm starting point of 10.) North West Bicester first phase is to be presented to planning in spring 2014, and is being designed to BioRegional’s One Planet Living’ Principles, with Zero Carbon housing. The website states that the first phase will feature allotments, fruit trees and landscape led play areas.
The Triangle, Swindon is TV Personality’s Kevin McCloud’s pitch at a ‘high quality sustainable development’ of forty-two homes. The Triangle applies BioRegional’s One Planet Living methodology to the housing, but as Mel Starrs points out in an interesting blog entry, it is by no means clear what sustainable code level has been attained.
Greenwich Millennium Village was a major showcase eco-district development planned alongside the Millennium Dome (now the 02) as part of the Millennium Communities Programme. The eco-district aimed to reduce primary energy use by 80% and has been gradually growing in the decade and half since the turn of the century, with, as of 2010 over 1100 flats and houses.
PortZED is a current ZedFactory project in collaboration with Alan Parker Architects, a zero carbon development in Shoreham, which received planning in December 2013. The Developers are Boho Green.
BedZED, the original UK eco-district BedZED stands for Beddington Zero Energy Development and was launched in 2000. Designed by ZedFactory in collaboration with the social entrepreneurial charity BioRegional, BedZED is described as ‘the first and largest Zero Energy Development.’