October marked the sixth month in lockdown for many countries across the globe, and with COVID-19 comes a very real disruption not only to the world’s health and economy as a whole, but also to each individual life. Yet with this disruption also comes a much-needed break for each person to evaluate their current living situation, most especially in the area of their investment.
In the same way that we need to be resilient and self-sufficient in the face of trying times, so do our homes need to be self-sufficient to adapt to our growing and changing needs. Enter the need for sustainable homes that offer maximum comfort and convenience, functionality and aesthetics, while at the same time energy-efficient and reducing negative impact on the environment.
Last September 16, List Sotheby’s International Realty Philippines hosted a webinar, entitled Living in an Environmentally Sustainable Development featuring Berkeley Homes UK, Oval Village. Hosted by Ms. Kaye Marisse Cawili, the webinar tackled the principles behind sustainable development and its environmental, social, economic and health benefits to the community.
Urban planner and guest speaker Karmi Palafox, presently Senior Adviser and Consultant at Palafox Associates, kicked off the webinar by emphasizing how a sustainable community improves quality of life, and mitigates the effects of climate change. She defines sustainable development as “a means of providing for the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. For this, the triple bottom line approach is applied to create value for people, the environmental and economy. She highlighted principles that include:
- Green buildings, which use less resources, reduce pollution and preserve greenery, waterways and natural heritage
- Space and place integration, which allows everyone to get access to their needs (people, places and activities) within a short distance, akin to the 15-minute city concept.
- Transport and mobility options that provide people with multiple and convenient options on how to reach their destination without relying on a private vehicle.
Having completed her Master’s degree in Urban Planning in the United Kingdom, Palafox also shared UK’s two-pronged strategy for urban planning, which balances strategic planning with strong development control processes. This reinforces the UK as having a clear vision and a solid plan to reshape its towns and cities for the future, while at the same time creating such developments in a way that its broader effects on the community are considered. Currently, London is one of the biggest cities in the world , but it is also one of the greenest with a great focus on environmental sustainability and biodiversity.
Benefits of Sustainability
Palafox also shared the benefits of sustainability, as follows:
- Social benefits. Buildings with sustainable developments encourage people to be active, in touch with nature, have access to fresh food, and have a sense of belonging within the community.
- Environmental benefits. Sustainable development improves biodiversity to promote a healthy ecosystem, resulting in better air quality, and less pollution and energy consumption.
- Economic benefits. Sustainable developments show to have a positive impact on health, and improves work productivity, save on water, utility and transport bills, offers higher resale value for properties, and more.
Key to Balance
Overall, sustainable developments are the key to balancing people, planet and profit. Enter Oval Village from the Berkeley Group UK, as presented by Sales Manager Nick Copeland.
All Berkeley homes are designed for green living and sustainability, and Oval Village is no exception. An advocate of biodiversity and green space, Oval Village sits on a brownfield site, which has then been transformed into a green open space that generates a 179% net biodiversity gain. It features a sustainable urban drainage and rainwater harvesting design to prevent flooding and at the same time manage rainfall runoff in a way that rainwater is collected and repurposed to water landscaped areas.
Designed for Energy and Water Efficiency
To promote low carbon emission and renewable energy, the Oval Village adopts a combined heat and power (CHP) system, plus solar panels, to provide heat and electricity at a more minimal cost and 30% less CO2 emission. As regards transport, the constant use of a private vehicle is deterred, while walking, cycling and electric cars are encouraged, as evidenced by secure cycle storage facilities, electric car charging points, cycle and pedestrian routes, and Santander cycles in the community.
The homes are no different. Copeland said that each apartment at Oval Village is designed for energy- and water-efficiency, aiming for a reduction of 50% in costs for the former and a consumption of 105 litres of water per person per day. Homes are also equipped with appliances having A to A+ energy ratings.
Bordering Zone 1, the Oval Village is perfectly positioned to be within walking distance of the major landmarks around Central London, including the River Thames, House of Parliament and The London Eye. It is conveniently connected to public transport, being 8 minutes away from the Oval Underground station, 10 minutes from Vauxhall Underground station and 12 minutes to Kennington station. Most notably, the Oval Village is 25 minutes away from all major London universities, including the University College of London, King’s College London and Imperial College London.
Atop one hectare of green open space sits Oval Village’s Phoenix Court, which features a stunning collection of 1,310 studio, (1) One, (2) Two & (3) Three Bedroom apartments 900 of which are private. Each unit offers 999-year lease and is available for a ground rent of £400 per annum for a (1) one-bedroom apartment, £650 per annum for a (2) two-bedroom and £800 per annum for a (3) three-bedroom.
Pricewise, Phoenix Court’s Manhattan units (42 4sqft) are available for £575,000-£590,000. One-bedroom apartments (543-583 sqft) are available for £710,000-798,000. Two-bedroom (748-826sqft) and three-bedroom (1,056-1,090sqft) apartments are available for £957,000-£1,205,000 and £1,540,000-£1,642,000, respectively. This means that units are priced at around £1,100 to £1,200 per square foot. On the other hand, prime properties within the same area in Central London are priced at an average of £1,400 to £3,500 per square foot.
Since its launch in 2019, the Oval Village has since sold 75% of its apartments in Phoenix Court, with much of the apartments still up for grabs in the South Core building. The South Core currently has 46 available units out of 119, comprised of four (4) Manhattan apartments, 20 one (2) -bedroom units, 16 two (2) -bedroom units and six (6) three (3) -bedroom units.
Outside the Phoenix Court is a one-hectare public space that will soon feature a waterfall and grass amphitheater at its center. On the ground floor is a 130,000sqft commercial space that will be home to a new Tesco Superstore coming mid-April 2021 and complete with a resident roof garden on top. Left of the South Core building is Oval Works, which will offer six (6) floors of flexible office space for up to 1,000 employees. Other resident facilities include a 24-hour concierge, gym, meeting room, and in the future, a pool, cinema room and spa treatment room.
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