One Brighton, UK
An endorsed One Planet Community
One Brighton is a development by Crest Nicholson BioRegional Quintain LLP in Brighton on the south coast of England. The development comprises 172 apartments – from eco-studios to 3-bedroom units – plus office and community space. Construction started in 2008 and the first residents moved in during 2009.
The development close to Brighton’s mainline station consists of two blocks of 12 and 8 storeys, 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. All the for-sale homes were sold successfully despite the building being completed as the post-credit crunch recession deepened. One Brighton built on the lessons learned from the pioneering BedZED eco-village of 100 homes in Sutton, south London, developed by housing association Peabody in partnership with sustainability charity BioRegional.
BioRegional used that experience to map out ten One Planet principles for sustainable living. These were then used to draw up a One Planet Action Plan covering all phases of One Brighton’s life – from early design and planning through construction into occupation. This action plan underpins its status as a One Planet Community, the first in a growing global family, and sets a range of challenging targets. It also includes regular reviews of progress.
Building materials were selected for their high performance in use, but with reduced impacts in sourcing, manufacturing and transportation. The result is the greenest concrete frame in the UK (a post- tensioned frame with 50% cement GGBS replacement, 100% recycled aggregate), natural clay block and wood fibre insulation.
An on-site biomass boiler and PV panels provide approximately 50% of energy requirements with the remainder bulk purchased for residents as guaranteed green electricity through One Brighton Energy Services Company.
One Brighton has a rigorous sustainable transport plan to encourage residents to choose greener ways of getting about. Basically car free, there is a small allocation of parking space reserved for disabled residents and car club cars and, in addition to excellent cycling storage, the car club offers 2 years free membership and a 50% discount on rates for residents.
Green lifestyle features include roof top allotments, communal sky gardens, organic vegetable box delivery points and a green caretaker to ensure smooth running of facilities including the composter and biomass boiler.
BioRegional Quintain established the One Brighton Neighbourhood Community Interest Company to promote the One Planet principles to the wider community and provided seed funding to help start further sustainability initiatives.
Crest Nicholson BioRegional Quintain also helped fund the development of an ambitious One Planet plan for Brighton and Hove City Council, which follows our ten principles. Over 70 pages it sets out where the council is now, where it wants to get to in the medium and long term – and how it’s going to get there. You can find it here. In April 2013 we endorsed this in-depth plan, making this thriving, cosmopolitan seaside resort the world’s first One Planet City.
One Brighton Review 2014
BioRegional has published the first major review of One Brighton since its completion, setting out performance against challenging One Planet targets set for 2020 and 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 good potential to achieve a reduction of 89% 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
The highly insulated, triple glazed building is designed with architects Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and built by Denne under a design and build contract. The review, which includes an in-depth assessment of One Brighton’s lifecycle carbon emissions, is available here along with a four page summary. The life cycle analysis by eTool is also available.