Co-op housing 5 UK examples that are working for One Planet Living

Co-op housing 5 UK examples that are working for One Planet Living

by Peter Burke // March 20, 2023  

Co-op housing 5 UK Examples

Communities are a great way to live sustainably. This blog will highlight co-op housing examples that help people live in an environmentally friendly way while getting to know their neighbours and building social connections.

Co-op housing is a great way for people to live sustainably together.

Co-op housing and ecovillages are excellent ways for people to live sustainably together. They’re a great way to build community. And with the right mindset, it’s also a perfect way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health.

We also love One Planet Living, an initiative by Bioregional. They’re helping people, organisations, communities, schools and cities to live more within their means. It’s estimated that we need 3 planet resources to sustain ourselves, based on how we live, so how do we reduce our consumption and still live happily and healthily?

Blending the 10 one planet living principles with co-housing and ecovillages is certainly proof there is another way.

Here are five co-housing examples that are doing their bit:

Findhorn Ecovillage, Scotland

co-op housing

Findhorn Ecovillage is a community of 80 people, built on permaculture principles. The Ecovillage serves as an inspiration for other communities across the world and was the first to be registered as a charity.

Findhorn Ecovillage has been in existence since the early 1970s and continues to grow incrementally each year with new dynamic additions such as the Findhorn Foundation’s recent investment in solar power installations across their site and plans for further renewable energy generation systems.

Lammas Ecovillage, Pembrokeshire

co-op housing

Lammas Ecovillage is a community of 75 people living on a farm in Pembrokeshire.
It’s a cohousing scheme, meaning that the residents live in houses but share facilities such as gardens, kitchens and meeting rooms.

The community has grown over time from just eight people to its current size, with many more joining each year. It has grown organically because the founders set out to create something they’d want to live in themselves – which meant being open to new ideas and welcoming new members as they came along.

LILAC Co-housing, Leeds

LILAC – Low Impact Living Affordable Community is a co-housing community of 20 eco-build households in West Leeds. The homes and land are managed by residents through a Mutual Home Ownership Society, a pioneering financial model that ensures permanent affordability.

Sharing is at the heart of this co-housing community because they believe and can prove that it reduces their impact on the planet.

The scheme was designed and built using a straw bale panel system, so the natural materials enable the homes to capture heat and keep the homes at the right temperature depending on the time of year.

There is solar-powered energy created on-site, mechanical ventilation keeps the air in the buildings of high quality without needing to open the windows, plus there is an allotment, car sharing and tool sharing.

BedZed, London

co-op housing Bedzed London
Image Credit: Tom Chance

BedZed is a scheme in South London, UK. It was designed by ZEDfactory architects and built-in 2002 as part of the One Planet Living initiative to help make London more sustainable. It’s a beacon for zero carbon living worldwide.

The development is made up of 100 homes that are owned by their residents, who also share four lifts and a communal laundry room (the only space shared between all of the residents).

In addition to these features, BedZed has a community centre with meeting rooms where residents can hold parties or workshops; it also has an allotment for growing vegetables for its members’ use. It’s not the purists cohousing community, but it was created in partnership with Bioregional as they put into practise their 10 principles for One Planet Living. The residents after moving in have continuously reported how their lives are better and within their community they action things that make their lives better.

Lancaster Cohousing, Lancaster

Co-op Housing Lancaster Forgebank Project

The multi-award winning Lancaster cohousing community at Forgebank consists of private homes, community facilities, workshops/offices/studios and shared outdoor space.

There are around 65 adults and 18 children. They eat some meals together, make their decisions by consensus, and enjoy meeting neighbours in a pedestrian street and the Common House.
The homes meet Passivhaus and Code for Sustainable Homes (level 6) standards, and benefit from renewable technologies (solar, biomass and hydroelectricity).

Living at Forgebank also enables residents to live a lower impact lifestyle in many ways e.g. through travel plan and car club, cooperative food store, shared meals and other shared resources.

There are many different cohousing schemes throughout the UK, and each one has its unique approach to sustainable living. We’ve chosen five of our favourites to highlight here, but there are many more out there.

So if you’re looking for somewhere to live with a sustainable community vibe, why not check out one of these amazing projects? Or take our Better Places to Live quiz and see what you’d include in your cohousing community.

What can you do to improve your life and your community?

The first step is to take our 1 minute quiz. Simply answer 9 questions to see if you need a Better Place To Live.

You’ll be scored on the following; A home that meets your needs, a community and neighbourhood that works with your day-to-day life and is friendly to the earth.

Take the Better Places to Live 1 Minute Quiz!

Help to spread the word about Cohousing, Better Places to Live and creating A Fairer Society.

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Co-Founder A Fairer Society | + posts

Co Founder of A Fairer Society. Peter has a vision of living in a fairer society, where there's plenty to go around, where everyone has a voice in the issues that affect them, and where humans thrive togther.

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