Maria Smith presents the fourth episode of AF turns 30, a new weekly series by the Architecture Foundation, looking back at the last 30 years of architectural history.

The Beddington Zero Energy Development – BedZED for short – is an 82-unit mixed-use project designed around achieving ambitious reductions of energy, water and car use. Constructed in the Wallington suburb of London, the 1.4-hectare scheme for the Peabody Trust features a mix of social rent, shared ownership and market sale private housing along with community facilities and commercial units. The project was constructed from locally sourced materials and features its own on-site water treatment plant and woodchip fuelled combined heat and power plant. Smith talks to ZEDfactory principal Bill Dunster and resident Tom Nicholls to discuss the legacy of pioneering urban village, almost two decades after its completion; and the insights it can offer architects today amid the climate emergency.

Maria Smith is Director of Sustainability and Physics at Buro Happold. They are a Trustee of the Architecture Foundation, a member of the Architects Declare Steering Group, co-founder of Turncoats, and a Design Advocate for the Mayor of London.

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