last updated 31st March 05

image showing roof top turbineArchitect’s design addresses low carbon issues with eco-friendly features

A wind turbine fitted to the roof of an apartment block in Bow is one of the eco-friendly features which make the building a first in London and, possibly throughout the UK. Architects Bda ZEDfactory Ltd and house builders Yorklake Homes have to be congratulated for their achievement which hopefully paves the way for other similar energy-saving developments in the metropolis and elsewhere.

The turbine is on top of four purpose-built flats at 56 Tomlins Grove, E3, and compliments other eco-friendly features such as solar panels to convert the sun's rays into electricity, a hot water boiler powered by wood pellets, produced from wood waste and riple-glazed and krypton-filled windows to provide thermal and noise insulation. Also the exterior walls are exceptionally well insulated with a 300mm cavity filled with rock wool, the ceilings and floors are concrete slab construction which acts like super large storage heaters, storing heat in winter and coolness in summer and roof-mounted wind cowls provide innovative high levels of ventilation and heat reclamation

inside of bow imageThe stylish apartments are at the leading of carbon emission-saving building technology and are a fine example for other architects and builders to follow. Each flat has its own terrace as well as a conservatory which acts like a miniature power station, meeting around half of the projected annual electricity demand.

The design of these homes enables the residents to use the biggest purchase of their lives to contribute actively towards a cleaner, safer future.

Designed by Renewable Devices and supplied by Sotiish & Southern Energy, the Swift near-silent wind turbine on the roof is one of the first domestically available of its type that generates power at mains voltage. When combined with the solar panels it enables the development to generate as much electricity as it consumes.

James Kafton, Yorklake Homes’ manging director, says: “We are extremely proud of this cutting-edge development, which is the first of its kind in Central London. It really is quite an achievement to develop a site in Central London that is able to satisfy its own energy needs, largely from solar and wind power, which do not damage our environment, without compromising the design and specification expected of high-end apartments. This puts Yorklake Homes at the forefront of environmentally-sustainable property development.

“Although the build cost was higher, considerable interest was shown in the four apartments and we have achieved prices above comparable, conventionally built properties in the area. The interest shown in 56 Tomlins Grove confirms that demand is growing for environmentally-sustainable developments.”

building with turbine imageBill Dunster, of architects BDa ZEDfactory, says: “The development meets all the requirements of a 21st century urban lifestyle, yet generates all its own energy from non fossil fuels from within its site boundaries. This development really is a vision of the future. The damage being done to our environment could be significantly reduced if more property developers were prepared to build in this way.

“With so many new developments required in the coming years, we would strongly encourage the Deputy Prime Minister to require a significant proportion of new homes to be built with this type of environmental specification. Obviously, the greater the number of new homes that are built incorporating these features, the greater the public demand for them and the more economical it will become to build in this way. This development shows that we do not need to increase nuclear power in order to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions.”



© Bucks House Publications 2004.