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Hanging Gardens of Hemel Hempstead

Thursday 15 February 2018

Residents of post-war new town known for its Magic Roundabout and slum-clearance housing estates slam 14-storey green tower as 'not at all in keeping with the area' 

Draped in greenery, these flats have a three-acre rooftop 'sky garden' with tennis court, on-site gym, wine bar, library, playschool and robot-controlled car parking, and they're eco-friendly too.

It sounds like a dream on paper – but that's exactly where residents near the proposed site want it to stay. They say the 14-storey building with 435 homes and office space is an 'oversized monstrosity'.

Situated next to the town's railway station, Boxmoor Forest would transform a brownfield site used by a Kwik Fit garage and a Mitsubishi showroom.

Energy for the 191 studio apartments, 179 one-bedroom and 65 two-bedroom flats would come from solar roof panels, an on-site geothermal plant and a biomass boiler that incinerates waste from the three floors of offices. 

Lighting would be provided by LEDs and 'sun pipes', which reflect light from the roof using fibre optic glass tubes. Heat could be retained by triple glazing, and wall insulation would be enhanced by the 'facade of plant and soil biofilters improving surrounding air quality and trapping water and air'. Underground bays for 693 cars come with an automatic conveyor and robotic parking to reduce CO2 emissions. There are also 25 communal electric cars and 454 bicycle spaces.

 

 

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