After five years I’ve moved out of BedZed and into a new flat in Bethnal Green. What started as an experiment in sustainable living is now a pretty well known case study in eco building and overall can be considered a massive success. Technically, the flat that I lived in was flawless. Billl Dunster’s belief that “sunlight falling on your living room floor should be a human right” made it a very pleasant place to be and I didn’t have some of the problems with overheating that others did. Most importantly, even in the depths of winter, I had no problems with warmth even though there was no central heating. The main problems have been written about elsewhere but were with the systems set up for the whole development, mainly the CHP and the water treatment plant.
My only reason for leaving BedZed is its location which proved to be just a bit too far for me to get to work. I was spending two hours a day commuting and it just wore me down. My new commute is a five minute walk and it’s great to have everything I need within walking distance of home. The other plus of the move is the energy rating of the flat I’ve just bought is actually marginally better than BedZed. I now have solar water heating, which certainly over the past few days has provided me with all my hot water needs.
Anyway, I’d like to say congratulations to the pioneers — Bill Dunster Architects, BioRegional, Sutton Council, Arup, The Peabody Trust and everybody else who was involved. I know how difficult it is to make any project happen and I can only imagine how much perserverence and passion would have been required to build something that nobody knew would work. And to the countless students and dignitaries on early morning tours to find out more about BedZed who saw me in my pants, I’m sorry.