The first Exemplar phase of the NW Bicester eco-town has been shortlisted for a national sustainability award.
The Placemaking Awards recognise projects, people and organisations that are making places better. In association with Regeneration and Renewal and Planning, the awards showcase projects in planning, regeneration, economic development, urban design, sustainable development and community development.
The sustainability award will be presented to the initiative that can best demonstrate its environmental credentials without compromising the needs of future generations, through energy efficiency, provision of local flora or fauna and helping local people to become more aware and responsible.
Judges shortlisted Exemplar for the award; praising it as a ‘really ambitious project’, with ‘good carbon neutrality’ and said that it would be ‘very impressive if it delivers on all its stated aims’.
Exemplar, which will consist of 393 highly energy efficient homes, is the only large scale development in the UK to be built to true zero carbon. Construction will begin early in the New Year, with delivery of completed homes phased over the next five years.
Its methods to achieve environmental integrity have already been recognised by BioRegional’s One Planet Living status, which is a framework of ten principles designed to ensure people everywhere can enjoy a high quality of life within the resource capacity of our one planet. Only seven developments in the world have achieved this benchmark.
A2Dominion is the lead developer of NW Bicester. Project Director Steve Hornblow, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the sustainability award; environmental integrity is at the very heart of NW Bicester. The development has been carefully designed to nurture the community, delivering exceptional quality of life for residents without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
“We have many initiatives in place to ensure Exemplar is at the forefront of sustainability. Homes in Exemplar will be built to a minimum code level 5 and true zero carbon with properties benefiting from the UK’s largest residential solar array to generate electricity, rainwater harvesting and a sustainable urban drainage system.”
NW Bicester will aim to reduce car usage in Bicester from 67.5% to 50% with the provision of a community bus service from first occupation, real time travel updates in each home and cycle-ways linking into the town’s existing network.
Streets will incorporate communal herb boxes and there will be a community orchard and allotments with communal composting to encourage residents to grow their own food.
Green space will make up 40% of the 51 acre site promoting healthy lifestyles, existing hedgerows and habitats will be enhanced and new meadows and ponds will be created. The use of bird boxes and meadow-turf roofs will support new and existing species.
Mr Hornblow concluded: “All of our initiatives will provide people with the tools to benefit from a real community environment, reduced home running costs and the latest green technologies.”
The winner of the Placemaking sustainability award will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 28th January at the British Museum in London.
For more information visit www.NWbicester.co.uk