The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is the largest UK eco-community project experimenting in sustainable living. This report explains how urban planners are experimenting with designing homes to cope with the temperature rise predicted by 2080 to shut out the summer heat, conserve water and minimise energy. BedZED comprises homes with no central heating or air conditioning but instead makes full use of natural heating and lighting. The community boasts its own eco-friendly single generator of electricity and is able to capture rainwater which is then used for flushing toilets.
Using the clip as inspiration, the class could divide into groups and research some of the environmentally-friendly features of the BedZed development. Could any of the passive ventilation, heat storage or water recycling methods included in the scheme be incorporated into existing buildings? Students could carry out an analysis of the school or another building and suggest how it could benefit from sustainable technologies. A realistic brief and proposed specification should be produced, considering cost, maintenance, minimising of impact on school business and other factors.
Students could go on to research the passive house concept, looking at the criteria required. With help from local architect or design practice, they could investigate what measures would be required to make their own homes, or a chosen model building, passive houses.