The North Street Quarter will have the best available affordable low carbon design. This, along with enhanced green spaces for people in Lewes, growing areas, green roofs, photovoltaic panels, recycled grey water and many other carefully thought out features will ensure that we create one of the most environmentally sustainable developments ever built in the area.
Our approach is based upon three key principles: Use Less First; Multifunctionality; and Adaptability.
Use Less First
This is about reducing impact on the environment simply by not using resources in the first place. It is about making sure that the development is designed so that the construction and operational phases of development need to use less. To do this the development will:
- Deliver energy efficient homes to reduce demands and carbon emissions
approximately 15% lower than the latest Building Regulations standards, which will ensure energy running costs are as low as possible. They will be carefully placed to make the most of natural heating and cooling.
- Use very efficient heating, and where necessary cooling systems, including the application of district heating or combined heat and power. Further exploration into the use of the River Ouse as the development’s main source of hot water and heating through the use of water source heat pumps will continue.
- Manage rainwater run-off in a highly sustainable way through on-site Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) which use open water features rather than drains to manage rain water. These have the benefit of managing water better, supporting more plants and animals and creating attractive features.
- Include green roofs which will form part of this SUDS network, which also gives ecology at roof level and creates an attractive feature.
- Use power from certified renewable utility energy sources from the start, as well as providing some renewable energy systems, such as photovoltaics, to new homes. This will be managed by a local energy service company.
- Reduce drinking water usage which is around 30% lower than the national average by efficient design.
- Reduce environmental impact through the use of recycled materials, especially for the use of concrete, with the overall aim of sending zero waste to landfill during construction.
- Create clear new links to the town centre and to the South Downs, prioritising pedestrians and cyclists above car users, minimising transport impact whilst improving parking provision for the town.
- Create landscape and ecology pathways through the site that don’t currently exist to encourage connections for wildlife along the river corridor and through the site.
- Generate home food growing facilities, in an urban environment supported with edible landscapes, such as fruit trees
Multifunctional design is about making parts of the development provide a range of different functions or services. This helps to create a sustainable environment in the most efficient way possible by providing multiple benefits for the environment and the community. A prime example of this is green infrastructure. We have included biodiverse roofs, swales and rain gardens, new landscape and tree planting to create and improve open spaces in and adjacent to the site. These have been designed to not only perform their primary functions, but also to provide additional benefits such as boosting biodiversity.
A development will only be sustainable as long as people want to, and can afford to, live there. People want to live in a specific location for many reasons including the quality of the built environment, the sense of community, proximity to services (including amenities, friends and family) and low levels of crime. We have carefully designed features to make the development an attractive location now and in the longer term:
- The buildings will provide flexible and adaptable spaces to meet peoples’ needs as they move through different stages of their lives. All dwellings, for example, will be built to ‘Lifetime Homes’ standards, and the whole development will incorporate the principles of ‘Building for Life.’
- The buildings will be physically comfortable, and have been designed to adapt to a changing climate when we have warmer summers.
- Spaces and buildings have been designed so that they can be managed and maintained affordably.
- There is easy access to cycle routes, river walks and green spaces, which will promote healthy lifestyles and exercise.
- Ensuring higher levels of (green) connectivity
- The design includes education opportunities and climate change adaptation solutions. In addition, each residential property will have a building information system installed, supported by an on-site ‘green concierge’. A wall mounted user interface will be connected to the internet and residents will be able to access information including:
- Live and historic information on energy and water use and the associated running costs
- Local, live public transport information
- Control of the heating system
- Access to a database of information about the property (including user manuals etc)
- Access to health services