By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent
The Beacon, due to complete in 2018 has launched as the world’s most sustainable residential tower. It will save residents up to £11,000 a year in living expenses.
Located 24 minutes from London Euston, bordered by over 400 acres of protected Boxmoor Trust Green Belt land at the heart of Hemel Hempstead’s regeneration district, the 17-storey tower will generate sufficient heat and power from on-site renewable energy to power the vast majority of the building’s requirements.
Coupled with The Beacon’s energy conservation technologies, this makes the building a world leader in its overall energy efficiency.
Current energy modelling has predicted that the building is virtually passivhaus, resulting in an expected reduction in heating costs by 70-80 per cent compared to normal properties. Via a number of innovative solutions including mechanical ventilation and heat recovery [MVHR] systems, the building will generate enough power to offer ‘Free Energy for Life’ to all Beacon Residents.
This project by Lumiere Developments is considered the first of its kind, with a combination of green features not present in any other residential development in the world. A multi-dwelling EPC A-rated energy neutral building, its key features include:
- The highest density solar farm in the world (0.8mw on <0.5 acres).
- Solar photovoltaic panels – embedded into the solar balustrades at each floor level.
- Triple-glazing to all apartments.
- Quadruple-glazing to upper level apartments.
- Ground Source Heat Pumps to extract heat from the basement of the building to heat the hot water.
- Air Source Heat Pumps to extract heat from the atrium.
- 100 per cent rainwater harvesting (collected at roof and balcony levels) for toilet flushing and irrigation of the green planters on each external balcony and internal arboretum.
- MHVR – Mechanical Heat and Ventilation Recovery System to ventilate apartments and create comfort cooling.
- Thermal emissivity of less than 0.2W/M2K.
- Electric Car Scheme – 5 cars available including Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf and a BMW i3.
- Electric Bike Hire Scheme.
- UK’s tallest residential indoor arboretum.
- UK’s largest underground automated robotic car park with 319 spaces underground in less than half an acre.
The Beacon, alongside its sustainable features, offers residents amenities and services that create a community and lifestyle not currently available elsewhere in the local property market. These include a 2,120 sq. ft. gymnasium, an internal arboretum alongside a café and bar area, water features, club lounge, cinema room, and a communal roof sky garden with an outdoor resident ‘library’ decked area and observatory at the top of the building.
Ambi Singh, Commercial Director of Lumiere Developments, comments: “The Beacon is the result of a number of years of extremely hard work by everyone at Lumiere and our partners in the design and planning, to deliver the world’s most sustainable residential tower. Sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do and we wanted to marry emission free renewable technologies with simple yet effective energy conservation strategies to create a zero-emission development that is truly world class in its architectural design, engineering and specification.“
Set to complete in 2018, The Beacon’s 272 studio, one, two and three bedroom balconied apartments and luxury penthouses will contribute to the regeneration of Hemel Hempstead, which is currently undergoing a major transformation following the council’s £30m investment.
Additional private inward investment into the Town Centre and Maylands Business Park Regeneration area has also been prolific in recent years. Future plans include the regeneration of the main line train station and surrounding area to create a new residential-led mixed-use scheme, delivering over 1000 new homes, entertainment complex comprising new cinema, restaurants, supermarket and public parking area, as well as a potential Crossrail 2 station.
The Beacon is within walking distance of Hemel Hempstead train station, which links residents to Euston (Victoria and Northern line) in 24 minutes. There is also direct access to the A414, leading to the M1 and M25 motorways for Central London and Heathrow Airport.