Elephant Park’s commitment to creating central London’s new ‘green heart’ aims to set a new standard in city living. The team has set itself the high ambition of being among the most sustainable inner-city urban regeneration projects in the world. With this vision in mind, we can truly deliver above and beyond what is expected and make a real difference for the project and the area, and to ensure that it becomes part of London’s already rich tapestry of green spaces and streets.
Ultimately, this place should nurture and contribute to the natural systems that will sustain us all, not deplete them – this is the only way we can really guarantee positive longevity and legacy for the project. This is why we signed up to the Clinton Climate Positive Development Programme making Elephant Park one of only 19 schemes around the world aspiring to become Climate Positive, and the only project in the UK.
In practice, this means a low-carbon piece of city that improves air quality, becomes a healthier place to be and significantly reduces the use of non-renewable resources.
Elephant Park is the only UK project selected for the C40 Climate Positive Development Programme, which challenges the world’s greenest major urban regeneration projects to become models for large-scale cityscapes of the future. Elephant Park is one of only 19 projects across the world to take part in the programme and was the third of these projects to reach ‘participant’ status, after submitting a comprehensive roadmap demonstrating how the project will be Climate Positive, or net carbon negative, by 2025.
The landscape and public spaces in Elephant Park will be a key feature of the completed development, playing a crucial part in mitigating the impacts of climate change, providing new habitats for wildlife, and creating a healthier and more pleasant environment.
Over 11 acres of new and improved public spaces will be delivered in total, representing almost half of the land area of the development. At the heart of this is the new park at centre of the scheme, which will Central London’s largest new park in 70 years when complete. We have already opened the first phase of the park, and you can find more details here.
Trees are a fundamental part of our commitment to sustainability at Elephant Park. The project has committed to an extensive and ambitious tree planting programme, which has been developed in direct response to local community feedback. Elephant Park will protect as many of the existing trees, planted onsite in the 1960s, as possible. This has required extensive reassessment of the masterplan to both reconnect with the surrounding city, and protect as many mature trees as possible.
In the cases where trees will have to be removed, replacement trees will be planted to ensure there is no net loss of canopy within the masterplan area, resulting in a neighbourhood that feels green and embedded within its surroundings from Day 1. In total, we will plant well over 1,000 trees both in the development itself and in the surrounding streets, parks and open spaces across Elephant & Castle. As well as this, we have amended our designs and construction programmes to retain over 120 mature trees from the previous Heygate Estate. There will also be green roofs, green walls and other planting across the development that will provide all kinds of benefits to Zone 1 London, from providing habitats for wildlife to improving air quality.
ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES
The new homes at Elephant Park will be at least 35 per cent more energy efficient than current regulations require and use 30 per cent less water than the average London household. This will include 15 pioneering ‘Futurehomes’ – the first homes in Zone 1 of London to be accredited to the world-leading Passivhaus standard.
NET-ZERO CARBON ENERGY
The Elephant Park Energy Hub, which is currently in construction, will include a combined heat and power plant (CHP) utilising natural gas, offset by grid-injected biomethane, and will deliver net zero-carbon, affordable heat and hot water to residents and businesses across Elephant Park, with the capacity to connect into a further 1,000 homes across the Elephant & Castle Opportunity Area. The building will also become a hub for the local community, as it will include a new nursery, community café and children’s playground.
Elephant Park is designed to support and encourage green transport in all its forms. Upon completion, there will be over 90 new cycle-hire bikes, over 3,000 bicycle spaces, a wealth of new pedestrian and cycle routes, access to dedicated bike maintenance and cleaning areas, and charging ports for electric vehicles.