These Leeds developments have been constructed with the protection of the environment in mind…
Leeds has seen a slew of new developments open in recent years, with a focus on what they bring to the city – and for these three, sustainability is at their heart. They’ve been designed to help protect the environment, using everything from wind turbines to straw bale panels to reduce their carbon footprint.
Taking an old, dilapidated art deco hostel and transforming it into a pioneering eco-friendly residential and office development is no mean feat, but that’s exactly what Greenhouse has achieved. Developers Citu are renowned for their environmentally friendly builds, and the ten awards Greenhouse has won in the past five years prove how effective they are.
It’s not just awards that impress though, it’s the facts too. It contains 173 one to three bedroom apartments, as well as offices, a gym and a deli across development. Part-new build and part-refurbishment, Greenhouse is home to wind turbines, solar panels and ground source heating, as well as using water retrieval technology that recycles water used by tenants. Not only is it good for the environment, it also saves tenants money on their bills.
It’s one of the biggest developments in Leeds, but that hasn’t stopped Wellington Place from being one of the most environmentally friendly in the city. They’ve implemented a number of techniques to make it possible, including a low energy strategy which uses different facade solutions on each building to suit the solar trajectory and a high-tech Building Management System to monitor environmental conditions in the work place.
The concrete structure has been designed to keep heat in through the winter and out during the summer, with energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems. But that’s not all – across the site they’ve added features like free cycle storage, free bike hire, a fruit tree orchard, tree planting schemes, an urban allotment, beehives, electric car charging points and bio diverse landscaping, helping to promote an eco-friendly strategy to every one who uses Wellington Place.
Leeds is home to a first for the whole of the UK – LILAC, which stands for Low Impact Living Affordable Community, can be found in Victoria Park near Bramley, and is the country’s first co-housing project. It comprises of 20 straw bale households which have been designed to protect the environment, while making housing affordable for the people who live there.
Each house is constructed using ModCell straw bale and timber prefab panels, which are carbon negative and therefore low energy. They also use a passive solar design, which enables the materials to store solar heat in the winter and reject it in the summer. But it’s not just the community’s construction that’s unique. Residents don’t buy a house, they buy into the whole LILAC development, splitting the cost with the rest of then community, and helping out with building, cooking, cleaning and growing food in the allotment.
LILAC image copyright Sam Brown licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.