Somerleyton Road – Sustainability Workshop Feedback

Written by Igloo

February 10, 2015
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On the 22nd of January 2015, a workshopwas held at No. 6 Brixton to discuss the best way to sustainably develop Somerleyton Road. The aim was to understand the sustainability priorities of local people and feed these into the proposals for the site as they develop.

The first part of the event consisted of series of presentations with the first was given by Robert Knight from igloo (Somerleyton Road’s development managers).  It set the scene by explaining the various strands of sustainability that igloo consider for all the projects they do. These cover a large spectrum of issues; health and happiness, regeneration, environmental sustainability and urban design and are summarised in the diagram below.

Sustain1

Metropolitan Workshop (lead architect) followed with a short summary of the latest masterplan proposals to provide context to the workshop.

The last presentation was given by sustainability expert, Richard Partington of RPA.

Richard was invited by igloo to speak about how buildings can be designed to have less impact on the environment.   He discussed many of the things that people associate with environmentally friendly design, such as the use of solar panels to make electricity, and the issues attached to them.

He followed this by highlighting some of the challenges of sustainable building.  He stated that often the choices one makes to ‘save energy’ result in other trade offs for the building. For example:

  • The use of roofspace for solar panels will limit the use of this space as a space for communal roof gardens.
  • Providing a lot of sunlight to rooms can cause overheating in the summer.
  • Communal heating systems are often praised as a way of reducing carbon emissions however they generally take away people’s individual control of their environment and energy supplier.
  • Very high tech solutions, such as ventilation systems that return heat from the air they have extracted, are very effective however they can be complicated to use and can cause problems if not well maintained.

These challenges sometimes highlight a contrast between government policy and what people themselves would prioritise. Richard gave the following example: a resident may benefit more from having a spacious adaptable home rather than a carbon neutral one.

Richard’s final slide was a long list of themes to facilitate group debate in the second part of the event.

sustain3

The second part of the event we split into three small discussion groups.  Each group discussed the issues they felt most passionately about in order to create a list of sustainable priorities.  A member of the project team facilitated each group and recorded the discussions.   At the end of the session each the facilitator presented a summary of their conversation back to the room.  Additional feedback forms were left on each table for people to make additional points

The discussions and feedback forms received revealed several common priorities shared by the group.  These are summarised in the diagram below.

sustain2

The project team will consider all of the views expressed by the group and explore the possibility of integrating them into the emerging sustainability strategy for the site.

If you have any additional comments you would like us to consider please contact FutureBrixton@lambeth.gov.uk.

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