Leaner, Greener and Cleaner at Royal Eden Docks

The climate crisis is a growing concern globally.

In London, while measures are coming together to reduce pollution, not least the widening of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone this October, living on the River Thames has proven to offer a cleaner and fresher air quality. Not only that but steps have been taken to ensure residents of Royal Eden Docks can live a leaner, greener and cleaner lifestyle helping them and the planet at the same time. 

Fitness first #Leaner

Residents at Royal Eden Docks benefit from 17 onsite amenities including our novel 75m-long rooftop running track—offering a panoramic view of the London skyline while doing a daily 5km-run. In addition, there is the residents’ gym which includes a suite of spin and yoga studios. 

Outside lies 5,000 sq. m of landscaped gardens with ideal spaces for outdoor exercise or personal training sessions. Being based less than 100m from the water’s edge also means there’s the option of incorporating a run along a flat 5.6km route that follows the perimeter of the Victoria Docks into the weekly fitness routine. Those that enjoy open water swimming—or wish to take up the sport--can do it in what’s regarded as one of the most scenic venues in the world.

Not only does all of this provide an opportunity to keep fit at home but it’s also leaner on the pocket as it will remove the need to pay for monthly gym membership.

Residents at Royal Eden Docks have the advantage of secure onsite cycle storage facilities, too. Despite the plethora of public transport options on standby (it’s a 3-minute walk to Customs House Crossrail and DLR), cycling to work is an excellent way to stay fit. Doing it on a regular basis has been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease by 46%—and it helps the planet, reducing toxic emissions from vehicles. 133,442 tonnes of Co2 are saved each year by people cycling to work and research shows that it’s 50% faster to cycle to work than drive in rush hour.

Carbon footprint #Greener

The apartments at Royal Eden Docks not only meet but surpass several environmental and carbon-reducing goals set for new developments. The building as a whole is estimated to be saving over 430 tonnes of carbon each year and, thanks to the work that has gone into the design and the quality materials used in the building, each apartment is estimated to emit 54% less carbon than an equivalent home built to the minimum national standards.

One major factor lending Royal Eden Docks stand-out value when it comes to carbon emissions is through the supply of energy. All the apartments are linked to a single energy centre which generates heat and electricity in large quantities saving carbon emissions which would otherwise be produced through having multiple smaller energy sources.

The apartments are fitted with energy efficient ventilation systems known as Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (or MVHR). These provide fresh, filtered air into the home while reusing much of the energy that has been used in heating the building. As the apartments are exceptionally well insulated, the systems help to keep them warm during the winter and reduce overall running costs. Changing the filters on the units regularly will ensure owners optimise the fresh air supply and save energy at the same time.

Materials used through the apartments have been chosen for their minimal environmental impact including timber and wood-based products chosen for kitchen, bathroom and storage units that have been specially sourced from sustainably managed forests using suppliers with Forest Standards Commission (FSC) certifications. Meanwhile taps and showers have been selected from manufacturers who have a proven track record of delivering a high level of user experience while reducing water consumption.

Lighting throughout the apartments—including task and decorative fixtures—are fitted with energy efficient LEDs. While meters have been installed to track electricity and water consumption so that residents can keep track of their own usage. All the glazing in the apartments has been selected to balance the need for ventilation, optimise daylight, reduce the risk of overheating and provide a sound barrier. As it has a low U-value, this helps prevent heat loss and reduces running costs further. 

Monitoring the amount of energy we use at home is just as important as the waste that is generated, therefore all owners of Royal Eden Docks are supplied with dedicated recycling waste areas to encourage careful disposal and separate of rubbish.

Fresh air #Cleaner

Living by the water has long been attractive but as the focus on the quality of air that we breath grows it has added benefits. According to information provided by Londonair.org.uk, the air quality at Royal Eden Docks is equivalent to that of Hampstead Heath and Greenwich Park. 

But air pollution is not just about what happens outside. In China, clean air is advertised as a luxury product. While that’s not the case here, indoor air pollution is one of the most significant—yet invisible—risks to health. The American Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than outdoor. Yet we spend 80% of our time indoors.

Fortunately, the fact that apartments are fitted with MHVRs is a huge help. They quietly and efficiently provide the apartment with fresh, filtered air all year round, improving indoor air quality and reducing dust and allergen levels. Not only that but they also keep condensation at bay, reducing the risk of damp which can have a negative impact on health.

Each apartment comes with private outdoor space and many overlook the landscaped garden or communal courtyards. Both have been carefully planted with trees and shrubs which help to sequester carbon and improve the overall biodiversity of the development as well as having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the residents—this has become particularly important in recent times with a poll by Ipsos MORI finding that 49% of people said being near green space was more vital than ever before. The air quality in these communal outdoor spaces is further improved by the fact that Royal Eden Docks is largely car-free.

Together, all these elements present the opportunity to live within a vibrant, community-led, carbon-reducing scheme in the heart of East London.