All homes at Upton typically achieve similar scales of sustainability; however they do so through different methods and combinations of technologies (see table 1). In addition, a small number of homes are carbon neutral or BREEAM code 6 (Figure 3). In conjunction with the site-wide measures, each particular building in Upton will achieve a minimum BREEAM excellent rating, equivalent to Code 3 or 4 of the code for sustainable homes (Communities and Local Government 2006). BREEAM ratings are to be achieved through a holistic approach to green build design, incorporating planned layout and environmental technologies such as photovoltaic cells, comprehensive insulation, solar water systems, micro wind turbines, green roofs, micro CHP, rain-water harvesting systems and locally sourced building materials . See below the specifications for green technologies at the Upton scheme (Energy Saving Trust 2006):Approximately 85% of the new homes employ new energy and water technologies. However, Clark (2010) identified that the remaining 15% were not required to use such technologies, yet they were awarded BREEAM excellent. The fundamental method in which Upton’s housing is achieving environmental targets is through the use of Redland photovoltaic tiles which will provide homes in the region of 960 kWh/year, providing a third of a typical family’s electricity demand.
Sustainable Urban Drainage System
The master plan accommodates an extensive landscaping network, integrating large swaths of public green space and sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) methods. The SUDS shall incorporate green swales into the urban landscape that will assist the management of surface water drainage and encourage on-site infiltration, providing a useful network for local flora and fauna, therefore promoting biodiversity for the wider area. Operationally, excess water is gravity-led, whereby excess water is fed through the SUDS network to the Nene Way footpath and Upton Country Park before dissipating into natural watercourses (rudi.net 2010).
A predominant aspect of Upton’s sustainability programme is the utilisation of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS). Efficient rainwater management was given high priority during the planning process in the area, which was effected by flooding in 1998 (sustainable cities 2010). SUDS are designed to reduce the potential impact of new and existing developments with respect to surface water drainage discharges. The initial phase 1 development received support from the environment Agency who approved a flood risk assessment for the scheme. The SUDS scheme consisted of a system of linked swales that convey runoff to wetland storage areas nearby recreational green space adjacent to the River Nene as well as having a storage and infiltration function. Permeable paving, rainwater harvesting and water butts were to be provided by developers of individual sites. Consequently, this led to difficulties over adoption of the surface SUDS...