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Net Zero Carbon
Bowmans Cross will be a place fit for the future, with low impact living. The opportunity to craft a new community provides a unique opportunity to define a new way of sustainable living, through a net zero carbon development.

The Sustainability Charter

The Sustainability Charter that will be developed for Bowmans Cross is based on the five pillars of Sustainable Development, which form a wider part of Urban&Civic’s commitment to be Net Zero as a company by 2030 and through its developments by 2050.

Sustainability Framework FIVE CAPITALS APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS CHALLENGES Climate Change NationalPolicy LocalPolicy Client Vision Health & Wellbeing Biodiversity S O C I A L H U M A N N A T U R A L P H Y S I C A L E C O N O M I C

The five Capitals

These five Capitals are based on the contribution that we believe sustainable development can make in our work. Globally and locally this can support the fight against the three greatest challenges we face: climate change; the threat to nature and biodiversity; and human health and wellbeing.


Physical Value creates high quality places and is increased where buildings and infrastructure are designed for longevity, allowing people to navigate easily on foot/by bicycle or using low carbon public transport.


Social Value is delivered where a great place brings people together and creates a cohesive community of active citizens: not just Bowmans Cross citizens, but ensuring the place respects and provides space for neighbouring communities and new residents to meet.


Economic Value is increased where all users of a place feel they have a stake, and a level of ownership and buy-in to the outcomes it is seeking to achieve: from local procurement and showcasing local innovation, to providing apprenticeships and space for local businesses.


Human Value is grown where quality and longevity of life is improved and happiness is increased; supported by the individual experience of some or all of the other values.


Natural Value is embedded where existing natural assets are protected and new complementary resources delivered, ensuring a net gain for nature and the wider environment.

Sustainability strategy

The evolving strategy sets out a number of ways in which for each of the Capitals, key commitments will be made and delivered which embed sustainable values.

sustainability tree

What that means on the ground:


The energy approach – like other areas of the Sustainability Charter – focuses, in the first instance, on reducing the need for power or other resources, then seeking to supply what is needed as efficiently as possible and in a low carbon way.

Be lean.
Use Less Energy
Be clean.
Support Energy Efficency
Be green.
Assess Low or Zero Carbon (LZC) Energy Sources

Nature as an environmental filter:

A significant parkland is being created on the southern boundary of the site, to act as a filter against the M25. The landscape bund will rise 10m above the development, and a minimum of 5m above the M25. In width, while the detailed design is still being developed, we are looking at between 65-100m wide – the length of a Premier League football pitch.

The multi-functional landscape will buffer the wider area from the impacts of noise and air pollution, while providing an aesthetic design that provides real benefit to nature in the wetland, grassland and woodland habitats created for nature and people to enjoy..


Climate Change is causing a challenge to the world: with both a shortage of water, and more extreme weather conditions leading to more flooding. That is why water requires a holistic management cycle, which works with the wider area. The focus for the water management cycle will be:

Reducing the need:

low flow showers and taps, alongside creating a culture of careful use of water.

Recycling to meet demand:

greywater recycling, to enable use of bath water for flushing the toilet; or rainwater harvesting to water the garden.


the wider drainage system across the development will be designed to provide holding capacity for extreme rainfall events. Through the network of swales and ditches, ponds and lakes, it will also improve the quality of the water as it moves through the development, and protect the existing aquifer. The new water landscape would also provide important habitats for nature.

linear park

Energy Matrix

While the detailed delivery is still being explored, we wanted to share the matrix approach we have developed to support our thinking.

Be Lean

Fabric Performance

Reducing space heating demand through improved fabric efficiency 


Balance daylight comfort and passive heating


Overheating risk analysis to inform occupant comfort

Heat recovery
Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR)

High efficiency lighting throughout

Metering and controls
Network and building-level management for optimisation

Be Clean

All-electric servicing strategy
All demands met through efficient supploy of zero carbon electricity
Fifth-generation network

Energy sharing network at higher density, mixed use locations

Battery storage

Diversity energy use on site and optimise offset from LZC technologies

Be Green

Air source heat pumps

Extract renewable heat from the air

Solar thermal
Convert the sun's energy into renewable heat
Can be combusted to produce zero carbon heat
Ground source heat pumps
Extract renewable heat from the ground
Photovoltaic (PV)

Convert the sun's energy into renewable electricity

Anaerobic digester
Produces green gas which is combusted to generate electricity