by Mary-Catherine Riley
Would you like to live in the lap of luxury in a flat northwest of London that provides excellent amenities and still feel like you are living sustainably? Excellent, so would I! For a starting price of £200,000, you too can live in the Beacon, “the world’s most sustainable luxury tower.”
The vision of the Beacon is to reinvent the modern lifestyle while incorporating the most technologically advanced sustainability practices. The Beacon integrates a multitude of renewable energy sources to offer a “free energy life” (http://www.edie.net/news/6/Hemel-Hempstead-set-to-welcome–world-s-most-sustainable-residential-tower-/). The Beacon incorporates underfloor heating, heat recovery ventilation and geothermal heating to regulate the temperature of the building as well as smart thermostats to use that energy efficiently. The windows are three glazed and provide the best noise and heat insulation. The Beacon lowers the energy bill by using the power created by their 0.8 MW solar array. Furthermore, they have adapted motion sensitive LED light to provide the most efficient lighting.
The Beacon utilizes a 100% rainwater harvesting system to irrigate the plants located in the arboretum and on the balcony. This arboretum is used to freshen the air provided in the building using a natural ventilation system. Finally, the Skyline Parking structure provided by the corporation is a robotic parking system that returns your car in 45 seconds and eliminates the need for lighting and idling. The building has electric cars and electric bikes to use for those without cars (https://www.thebeacondevelopment.co.uk/sustainability#sustainability2).
The builders of the Beacon, Lumiere Developments, say that their model will act as a blueprint for “zero-carbon residential development” in the future. However, they point to the trends as three quarters of UK construction companies already use low-carbon strategies (http://www.edie.net/news/6/Hemel-Hempstead-set-to-welcome–world-s-most-sustainable-residential-tower-/). As this technology continues to expand, it will become cheaper, and finally, the Beacon will not be an anomaly but a standard on how to incorporate luxury and sustainability.
Edie Newroom. “Hemel Hempstead Set to Welcome ‘world’s Most Sustainable Residential Tower’.” Edie.net. Faversham House Ltd 2016, 21 Oct. 2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
“The Beacon: Sustainability.” Environmentally Sustainable Buildings | The Beacon Development. Lumiere Developments, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.