Case study: Sustainability and modular housing

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Modular housing

Kidbrooke Village in south-east London combines innovative modular construction with sustainability at every level

Homeowners and aspiring buyers are becoming more interested in purchasing environmentally friendly and sustainable homes. The modern buyer now cares more about the environment around them and the planet in general, as well as becoming savvier with saving pennies on utility bills.

UK housebuilder the Berkeley Group is pioneering a new approach to design by building homes that have many eco-friendly attributes and consider biodiversity at the core of each project. Berkeley Group is also using cutting-edge techniques such as modular housing to help achieve this.

As a result of the brand’s commitment to sustainability, the Berkeley Group was named one of the top five companies in Britain for community and environmental responsibility in the 2017 Management Today awards, alongside Unilever, M&S, John Lewis and GlaxoSmithKline.

Case study: Kidbrooke Village

New homes at developments such as Berkeley’s Kidbrooke Village in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, near Blackheath in south east London, are a great example of ground-breaking properties that are leading the way in sustainable homes.

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The development comprises four different neighbourhoods to create an integrated community, including the Village Centre (Birch House and Centrum Court), Meridian Gate (The Crescent), Blackheath Quarter (Urban Houses) and City Point.

Kidbrooke Village isn’t just about creating a sustainable property, though; it’s also about connecting the development with the surrounding area. Berkeley’s approach looks at how a building can be designed by considering the landscape first, including creating parkland areas so that the land encourages wildlife and biodiversity.

“We have been working closely with the London Wildlife Trust to help engage the community and nurture the 35 hectares of green space that link the different parts of the development, including organising volunteer days and taking residents on bat walks,” says Giorgia Franco, sustainability manager at Kidbrooke.

The innovative Urban Houses at Kidbrooke development were constructed using innovative modular construction methods. This means that each floor was created at an offsite facility as a separate pod, helping to reduce waste and save resources during the build process.

“The benefit of modular construction is that everything can be thoroughly checked before it ever reaches its final destination, ensuring exceptionally high standards of construction. It allows builders to iron out problems in the safety of the weatherproof facility before ever setting foot on site,” Franco says.

With regards to the water and energy usage, the development is more efficient than a traditional town house, with water consumption estimated to be 30% lower than an average home.

“This is partly due to the modern methods of construction, which of course include excellent insulation and high-performance glazing to eliminate draughts,” says Franco.

“Materials are specified to be responsibly sourced including using FSC or PEFC certified timber.”

Berkeley has carefully designed Kidbrooke Village considering sustainability at every level throughout the design and construction process, from the materials used for the structure to all of the finishing touches. The use of combined heat and power (CHP) onsite at Kidbrooke uses a more efficient power process to generate electricity, helping to reduce energy usage.

Taps and showerheads in the bathrooms are aerated, which reduces typical water consumption by a third. Urban House residents are able to go one step further by creating a personalised rooftop garden – their very own ‘private oasis’. With the provision of electricity and lighting on the rooftops, occupants can enjoy gardening and sitting outside into the late hours of the evening.

Berkeley also designed Kidbrooke Village to include cycle storage for all homes and the development has good cycle ways to connect to a wider London network.

In addition, charging points are available for residents who own electric vehicles. The properties themselves are just 16 minutes away from London Bridge by train and a 10-minute walk into Blackheath, and Kidbrooke station is just on the doorstep.

To enhance the lives of residents, Berkeley also developed key amenities on site at Kidbrooke Village Centre, including a Sainsbury’s and doctor’s surgery. In addition, a private swimming pool, gym and cinema are also available for residents of the Blackheath Quarter.

Click here to find out more about Berkeley Group’s approach to sustainability.

 

 

Giorgia Franco

Sustainability Manager

Berkeley Group

Tel: +44 (0)1932 868 555

www.berkeleygroup.co.uk

Twitter: @BerkeleyGroupUK

Instagram: @berkeley_group

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