We’re entering a new age of green and eco buildings. Those seeking a luxury lifestyle no longer have to compromise on their environmental impact as the world’s most sustainable residential tower is announced. The Beacon is a 17-storey tower that is to be built in Hemel Hempstead by Lumiere Developments.
Promising to save its residents around £11,000 per year in living expenses, the development is offering free energy for life. While some sustainable developments might include one of two green features, the Beacon claims to be the first of its kind to be emission free and A-rated neutral. It encompasses all that you would expect from a sustainable building, including triple glazed windows and rainwater harvesting, but also includes some unique offerings. It will include the highest density solar farm in the world, kicking out 0.8mw on less than 0.5 acres.
It will also heat water for the residents using ground source heat pumps and create the perfect environment in each apartment using an innovative Mechanical Heat and Ventilation Recovery System. To foster a sense of community, and provide a green space for its residents, it will include the UK’s largest indoor arboretum, and in the basement, a fully robotic parking system will make space for 319 cars on less than half an acre.
Not content with creating 272 studio, one, two and three-bedroomed apartments, the development will be an all-encompassing community offering social areas, a rooftop garden and cafe and bar areas. Moving into this apparent oasis of sustainable and social living will be a breeze, with Lumiere Developments even offering to contribute towards conveyancing solicitors and valuation fees, and moving costs for pre-launch sales.
Ambi Singh, Commercial Director of Lumiere Developments, says “Using The Beacon as a blueprint for zero-carbon residential development, we will be rolling out this unique mixture of sustainable technology and building practice across our future projects and ultimately hope that we inspire other developers to build significantly more high-quality sustainable homes across the property spectrum from affordable to luxury.”
If Lumiere has anything to say about it, this could mark the future of housing. This of it as an all-inclusive arrangement that will save residents – and the earth – in the long run. Annual management fees will run around £1,580 for a typical apartment, and this will give residents access to the in-house electric car and electric bike share scheme, a gym membership, 24-hour security, a concierge service, on-site recycling facilities and heavily discounted contents insurance.
While some might scoff at the affordability of a project where prices start at £217,950, it’s easy to see how this could be extrapolated and rolled out across the construction industry to provide real savings for residents and long-term benefits for the planet.
“Rebecca Harper is a freelance law writer specialising in politics, human rights and sustainability. She writes for a number of law firms covering everything from professional negligence and dispute resolution to immigration advice services. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring the book shops of London.”