New group aims to get Cambridge 'wised up' to energy saving


Want to help Cambridge wise up to energy saving? Delegates at a local conference on housing and energy were so fired up that they want people to start a special group which could put ideas into action.

Cambridge Sustainable City's Forum, which took place last week at UNEP-WCMC on Huntingdon Road, heard presentations about energy conservation, renewable energy and environmentally friendly housing design.

In the discussions that followed, the enthusiasm of delegates led them to request that a group be set up to design a demonstration project using ideas presented by speakers Gareth Ellis of the National Energy Foundation Renewables Group and Nicole Lazarus from Bioregional Development Group which is designing BedZED, the Beddington Zero Energy Development, in the London Borough of Sutton.

This development of 82 eco homes and work spaces is designed to save energy and is so successful in this that it is the largest carbon neutral site in Europe. It uses housing design to maximise every environmental benefit through:

  • making houses face south to catch the sun
  • super insulation built into every dwelling to keep out the cold cheaply
  • wind-driven cowls activating heat exchangers on the roof
  • rain water used to flush the lavatories
  • rooftop gardens releasing office space beneath
  • a car pool with electric cars and 10mph speed restriction
  • local, reclaimed building materials and locally produced renewable energy.

    This development shows how sustainable living can be easy, attractive, affordable and available to all, needing only 10% of the heat energy used by conventional homes.

    Cllr Nichola Harrison, Chair of Environment Committee at the City Council, said, 'This forum on housing and energy was just what the city needed to take forward our ideas on sustainable living and it makes me more determined than ever to see these ideas put into practice in Cambridge. As well as design for new housing projects, we need to promote initiatives for energy conservation and production. We are, for example, already looking at potential for a demonstration wind turbine in the city.'

    The City Council has been involved for many years in promoting energy saving in both Council and privately owned property. Anyone can get advice and assistance from Gary Benn of the City Council's Comfort Zone, who spoke at this conference, on 01223 457832.

    Want to know more or join this new group? Contact the Cambridge Sustainable City Team at the Guildhall on 01223 457174 or 01223 457046.

    The district council for Cambridge.

    Cambridge City Council