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Having completed in 2002 a carbon-neutral mixed-use development at Wallington, near London, BioRegional Development Group is planning one 25 times bigger with 2,000 homes called Z-Squared.

Hoping to find a site east of London this year, the firm has yet to appoint an architect for the zero-carbon development. Being site-dependent, energy systems have yet to be selected. But they will include cogeneration and use exclusively renewable sources, says project manager Nicole Lazarus.

Z-Squared’s predecessor, the $29-million BedZED, was zero-carbon until the firm providing its 130-MW prototype cogeneration plant, fueled by gasified wood, went bust. But even using mainstream power for the bulk of its needs, BedZED produces roughly half the carbon of a conventional development, says Jennie Organ, BioRegional’s spokeswoman. That’s partly because the thermally efficient five blocks need 88% less space heating, she adds.

BioRegional developed the BedZED concept and got the not-for-profit developer Peabody Trust, London, to hire Bill Dunster Architects, now ZEDfactory Ltd., to build it for $29 million. BioRegional and the architect are now based there.

For Z-Squared, the firm formed Bioregional Quintain Ltd. with a developer, which has funding. At an estimated $1.3 billion, the cost will be 8% above a conventional development because of additional infrastructure, says Lazarus. But that may be avoided by outsourcing energy services. Construction of Z-Squared could start in 2008.

special theme issue:
  1. Dire Global Warnings Inspire Promising Antidotes to 'Civilization'

  2. View a Time Line of Environmental Twists and Turns, from 1938 to 2007 (1.7MB)

  3. Report Lights Fires Globally on Need To Slow Climate Change

  4. Politicians, Builder Groups Jump on the Green-Building Bandwagon

  5. Climate Shifts Have Engineers Rethinking Baseline of Planning

  6. Designers Look To Nature To Render Buildings in Harmony with Earth

  7. Companies Often Go Green To Reap Financial Rewards

  8. Officials Begin To Ask Just How Green a Highway Can Be

  9. Educators Issue Call for Green Programs That Cross Disciplines

  10. Coming Carbon Constraints Spur Powerplant-Emission Cleanups

  11. Eco-Friendly Engine Pioneers Search for Sources of Clean Power

  12. Big Zero-Carbon Project Planned in U.K.

  13. Template for Green Cities Nears in Asia

  14. An Agitated Port Official Pushes for Collaboration

  15. Human Role in Climate Change Is 90% Certain

  16. More to read:
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  18. Barometer of Change at NOAA
  19. In Search of the Zero-Energy Holy Grail
  20. Green Building Council Hones Rating System