Benefits – Technology
The South Down Project: A Smart Community
Written by Scott James, Integrated Ward Williams.
Context: Why a Smart Community?
The opportunity now exists for development to take a step on from sustainable design to adopt and integrate Smart technology opportunities across infrastructure, public buildings, spaces and individual businesses and homes. In reviewing technological integration, and developing this in tandem with inspiring design of the built environment which integrates culture, heritage and leisure opportunities, we will make a great place become
great a community.
In taking this approach there will be a range of economic, social and environmental benefits which can help make communities such as the South Down Project better places to live, work and play.
What we will do
From the concept design stage of the South Down Project we will implement a role as ‘intelligent client’, being aware of the range of Smart sector opportunities which we will actively include in the design brief for architects, planners, engineers at both the masterplan level, but also transferring down into specific community and business uses. One of our clear objectives will be based on energy generation and demand balancing. We will aim to be as ‘light touch’ as possible in terms of grid requirements, taking a shift away from the centralised norm of energy management to one which is more resilient and sustainable through local generation and use. We will plan and implement this through community scale generation, but also individual building design and management.
Coupled with low impact design of low-energy buildings, we will
seek to have truly exemplary developments which will set the tone for approaches to sustainability… a zero-carbon school, public assets ‘selling’ energy to individuals and businesses and other such ideas will be tested, and informed by our expert consultant team to strive for the best in sustainability.
With our leading role in the Smart sector development, and active involvement in projects across the UK which are delivering these activities on the ground, we have the ability to make this happen.
What benefits this could create:
Minimising energy costs for the community in its broadest sense, from businesses to individual homes, we plan to make the South Down Project a low-cost living environment.
The opportunities for significant social, health and wellbeing benefits exist on the back of such technologies. This will be evident in supporting areas such as education, social inclusion and specific targeted opportunities in sectors such as care of the elderly.
Supporting independence and community interdependence will be a subtle yet central ambition of the project. When fully delivered the South Down Project will be a great showcase for sustainable living that others can be inspired by and learn from.
The UK, as with many countries across the World, is faced with a challenge of supporting growth, yet balancing this with renewable energy use and low carbon living. The South Down Project will directly showcase how this can be done in a new community; supporting economic growth, healthy and inspiring living and visiting opportunities within a sustainable energy environment.
Integrated Ward Williams.