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ZEDlife circle

ZEDfactory have designed different building typologies , always investigating how to minimise embodied carbon and operational energy use...

Different typologies need different low carbon constructional systems

Different typologies need different low carbon constructional systems

ZEDfactory have spent a decade developing practical construction details that make new architectural forms easy and affordable to deliver

The Zero Bills Home


Beddington, London

Using a standard brick and block system, a distinct supply chain was set up for roll out of future projects

The Zero Bills Home

BRE Innovation Park, London

An innovation affordable zero carbon housing system (2016)


Buildings aerodynamically designed to capture wind creating wind speed up for renewable harvest and driving ventilation

Upton Rural ZED
Yelland Solar Village
Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Centre

Upton Rural ZED

Upton, UK

Glulam/box frame timber system with distinct packages that ties a great deal of the embodied carbon within sequestered timber building materials using thermal mass where necessary

Yelland Solar Village

East Yelland Quay, Uk

Using civil engineering products to create earth beamed structures allowing the reduction of spoil export from site by use within the building structure  (2010)

Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Centre

Jingdezhen City, China

The architecture and master planning are by ZEDfactory and will be one of the best global examples of low carbon urbanism applied to an interesting and diverse public realm.

Environmental Footprinting

The ideal scenario demonstrates the limit set for 2020 under the contraction and convergence data given the projected rise in population. Studies have shown that all sectors need to be significantly reduced to achieve the target emission levels. A severe change in lifestyles will be required to achieve these targets. The element that indirectly links all of the sectors is the built environment, encompassing local food sources, public transport, closed loop waste recycling or simply a school that is within walking distance.


The diagram below illustrates previous data collected from our projects as well as the hypothetical "ideal" scenario to be achieved for 2020.


Some of the projects' "buildings" segment falls to the left of the Y axis. This shows that in these cases, these projects' buildings generate more energy than they use (even after embodied carbon is taken into account). This therefore means that this "surplus" can be used to offset other parts of that resident's life, such as transport or services.


The climate neutral buildings concept provides a rigorous whole life carbon footprinting methodology. This shows how careful building and urban design becomes the mechanism that allows the other sectors to function and obtain the targets required.

Range of projects using the main sector data
Individual environmental footprintsper capita o a range of ZEDprojects

All the technologies described have been developed by ZEDfactory with industry partners over decades. We have found that working with our supply chain consistently over a long time makes better, lower cost construction components that fit together easily and minimise the risk inherent in introducing new technologies into a conservative construction industry. We offer these products as options to clients, and they often help us deliver a far higher specification given tight budgets. We encourage other teams to specify these products, as larger orders for the manufacturers reduces costs for everyone. We also welcome new manufacturers wishing to participate in this low carbon supply chain – either regionally or internationally.


We also try hard to measure the environmental footprint of our supply chain, wherever possible accounting for regional production and site specific transportation strategies. We think its important to manufacture bulk materials locally and use local labour for both manufacture and site erection at the same time as creating jobs, and stimulating the local economy. However components that are compact and high technology often require lager investments in centralised production facilities and may have to travel some distance by sea.

Climate Neutral Methodology

ZEDfactory Climate neutral methodology flowchart

This study looks at how to create a healthy building that works for both the local occupants as well as the global context – addressing the spectres of peak oil, peak gas, peak nuclear, food and resource shortages and accelerating climate change.


Buildings are ideally designed to be powered by slightly more renewable energy than they need to meet their annual requirements. At times they become power stations exporting zero carbon electricity to the national grid and displacing carbon emissions from fossil fuel power stations. Over the buildings’ minimum working life of around twenty five years enough carbon will have been displaced from the UK fossil fuel powered grid to offset the embodied CO2 used in the initial construction and its eventual deconstruction for recycling. This is only possible if the buildings have minimised their running energy demand by incorporating state of the art energy efficiency, features enough building integrated renewable energy systems, and have an extremely low embodied carbon payload achieved by careful building component specification. This strategy makes the whole project more or less climate neutral, and sets a new corporate standard for reducing the environmental impact of this industry.

To obtain the ‘correct’ carbon footprint a range of interlocking technologies is required rather than a single solution. The footprint of the buildings sector can make buildings net producers of energy allowing some of this bonus to be placed within other sectors where societal values make reductions unfeasible for the general public.


The targeted intervention within other sectors although measured values are not significant can have a large influence on the reduction of emissions in these sectors. The scale and site constraints of such a development is vital in achieving the target footprint per resident with mistakes made at masterplan level resulting in target values to be unobtainable without a detrimental effect on quality of life of residents.



Climate Neutral Standard Methdology

Note that this takes in part of the calculation within the buildings category in the report but to large degree has no input from any of the other sections


Net Zero Energy Bill Homes

Similar to above in replacing cladding panels on unshaded facades +/- 20 degrees to south given the rate of reduction of PV prices these are cost effective even though they produce roughly have the energy of a roof panel. The façade can also be used as a preheat twin façade to the surface of the building.


Although this has a positive carbon footprint the device delivers a heat recovery whole house ventilation system with hot water and heating to a unit. This is a fraction of the cost of conventional systems without the infrastructure expense of centralised plants

' Generating enough income from renewable energy to meet the monthly payments on the extra capital cost required to fund the zero carbon specification' 

The ZEDhouse™  


A low fabric heat loss design with high levels of insulation, thermal mass and passive solar gain.


The Energy System


An integrated energy solution using the HiminZED ZEDroof™ system and the ZEDheat-hub™ integrated micro-heat pump, compact hot water cylinder & ventilation heat recovery system with additional coil for a wood stove.


Income from Energy


The energy system provides an income under the FIT’s scheme that is sufficient to offset costs, even under the 2013 FITS rates using current pricing.


The Costs


We take into account the additional mortgage repayment required to fund the technology. We estimate this as the cost over and above building to current building regulations. We also include running costs in the calculation..


The Net Zero Energy Bill Home


The ZEDroof™ maximises FITS returns by substituting traditional roofing costs with a single integrated solar roof at around £150/m2 . The ZEDheat-hub™ reduces costs by integrating all heating solutions into a compact unit which replaces the standard boiler system. A small biomass wood burning stove provides top up space heating and hot water in the coldest months, although the superinsulated, draught proofed building fabric hardly needs auxiliary heating to stay comfortable.



The Zero Energy Bills concept is based on the annual offsetting of incomes and outgoing. For example the house will still incur an electricity charge for the electrical consumption at night however this is offset by the FITS income. £850 rebate for the ASHP is included

The Zero Bills Home

ZED Projects


Beddington, London

One of ZEDfactory’s biggest UK projects (2002)

Hope House


The first experimental ‘ZED‘ (1995)

Earth Centre

Doncaster, UK

With a mostly transient occupancy, the design concentrates lesson heat loss, and more on pleasing and functional space (2001)

Upton Rural ZED


Terrace of RuralZED zero carbon homes: the first commercial development to achieve the coveted BRE Code 6 ‘as built’ certification (2007)



Generating as much energy from renewable sources in a year as it consumes (2004)

Jubilee Wharf

Cornwall, UK

A zero carbon landmark building: A centre for all the community (2006)

Hockney Green

Andover, UK

Housing that increases the quality of life for its residents (2007)

Chalkwell Hall Art Centre

Chalkwell, UK

A sustainable refurbishment of a grade II listed building into an arts and community centre (2009)

Lancing Beach

Brighton, UK

Sports Centre & Accommodation

Tamar Valley Centre

Cornwall, UK

Inspiring addition to a natural and historical context (2010)

Yew Tree House

Brighton, UK

Bespoke home on small plot (2010)

Zero Bills Home

BRE Innovation Park, UK

An Innovative Affordable Zero Carbon Housing System (2016)

Newport Eco Village

Newport, UK

Zero Bills Home Eco Development (2016)

Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Centre

Jingdezhen City, China

The architecture and master planning are by ZEDfactory and will be one of the best global examples of low carbon urbanism applied to an interesting and diverse public realm.


Shanghai Art & Design Exhibition

Zhangwu Tourist Centre

Anji, Zhejiang Province

Gaojiatang Village

Shangchuan, Zhejiang Province

Club House

Shangchuan, Zhejiang Province

Dalian Eco-Town

Dalian, LIaoning Province

The masterplan consists of a development to accommodate 950+ apartments and more than 350,000 cubic meters of built space on farmers land

Dalian Office

Dalian, LIaoning Province

Sogal Office

Guangzhou Province

Tongshan Masterplan

Tongshan, Jiangsu Province

This masterplan project is an example of how to design ecotowns for warmer climates


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