We didn't call it the Climate Innovation District just because we thought it sounded cool.

Okay, we admit it, it was partly because we thought it sounded cool. And because we'd been watching too much Luther and really wanted to sound like plainclothes detectives by using the acronym CID around the office all the time. 

But the main reason we called it the Climate Innovation District is because it's all about using innovative new technology to build somewhere that is at the cutting edge of sustainability. A place that will show people there's a better way to live that has less impact on the planet, and about showing the industry there's a better way to build that doesn't cost the earth. 

Last night, at the Yorkshire Property Awards, the Climate Innovation District won the Best Innovation Project Award.

We were up against some other great projects, so it was amazing for us to win. It's a tribute to the incredible work of our Development team who've been planning this, our flagship project, for many years. 

Dave Berry, our Development Manager has taken the Climate Innovation District from an idea through to live development, where the first houses will soon be handed over to customers. 

Dave is Berry pleased with our latest award. 

So pleased he even told us how chuffed he is with it, which is highly unusual for Dave. He told us: 

"The purpose of the Climate Innovation District is to accelerate the transition to zero carbon cities, by showing how cutting-edge sustainable design can be achieved at scale.

Winning the Best Innovation Project Award is a fantastic step on the journey to changing how houses are built in the UK, creating a future where all homes are built to be sustainable". 

What's so innovative about the Climate Innovation District? 

It's not just the name of the Climate Innovation District that's got Innovation at its heart. It's the whole thing. 

The Climate Innovation District represents a pioneering new approach to house building in this country, which is one of the biggest causes of carbon emissions.

Ultra-efficient design for zero carbon heating 

The District is the first to host the innovative Citu Home, our ultra-efficient houses that use incredible insulation, heat recovery systems and an air-tight thermal envelope to create a home that’s so efficient a traditional gas boiler is no longer required. When heating requirements are a small fraction of those of a traditionally built house (up to 10 times lower), the homes’ heating requirements can be met with 100% renewable energy.

Lower embodied carbon  

The panels that create the Citu Home are built at our Citu Works manufacturing facility, which is situated just 200 meters away, in phase 2 of the Climate Innovation District in Leeds South Bank. This helps radically reduce travel miles, and with it the carbon footprint of the home’s construction. By building in a factory we can also drastically cut waste from the construction process, and recycled what isn’t used. We’ve found we can send 95% less waste to landfill from Citu Works than a traditional construction site.

On site solar in a community grid 

All the homes in phase 1 of the Climate Innovation District will be supplied by renewable energy from the site’s solar arrays, installed on Riverside houses and apartments. These panels will be owned jointly by all the residents, via the Community Interest Company(CIC), a not for profit company controlled by the residents. Residents will be billed according to their usage, which is managed via our smart home app Actuate, with all profits generated retained in the CIC so residents can spend them on projects to benefit the whole development.

Smart Home technology 

The Actuate app will help residents further reduce their energy consumption. Live energy & water usage monitoring allows them to see exactly how much they are using, whilst the app’s ‘Home & Away Switch’ feature lets them turn off all non-essential appliances & lights off at the touch of a button, where-ever they are.

Car-free landscape

As well as creating zero-emission homes, the design of the district is built to encourage the transition to zero carbon transport. The whole development is raised up several meters to create a car free landscape perfect for pedestrians and cyclists, free from traffic pollution. For those who still need a car, every single space in the development’s undercroft car park will be provided with electrical car charging as standard, allowing an easy transition to electric vehicles. A new pedestrian bridge over the River Aire links the development together and means it’s less than a 5-minute walk to Leeds Dock from phase 1, helping to encourage walking and cycling. The new bridge will also carry the pipes for Leeds’ new district heat network, providing low carbon heating for homes & businesses across city.

Encouraging biodiversity 

We’ve designed the Climate Innovation District around a central large green space. In addition, by retaining current trees at the site and planting more local species, we’ll create a River-bank peppered with over 60 trees, helping local wildlife. By creating so many large areas of green space, we help the site retain storm water & disperse it naturally into the ground, helping to prevent flooding.

Sustainable drainage 

To further help mitigate flood risk for the whole city, every Citu Home will have its own rain garden, to retain stormwater and slowly diffuse it into the ground, rather than rapidly discharging it into drains & rivers which can exacerbate flooding. The Riverside houses also feature green roofs (a carpet of sedum acre) which help retain water & mitigate the urban heat island effect.

If you're the kind of early adopter that loves having the latest cutting-edge tech, or if you just want an awesome home that helps reduce your carbon footprint, then the Climate Innovation District is for you. 

Find out what's available on our Masterplan


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