We don’t want to build ‘eco-houses’ that are great for the environment, but aren’t amazing places to live. It doesn’t matter how green you make it, if no one wants to live there, then it’s not sustainable.
The Climate Innovation District will be historic. The biggest urban sustainable development in the UK and the first-time homes have been built in Leeds City Centre in over 90 years.
Due to their innovative design, the homes of the Climate Innovation District will save thousands of tonnes of CO2 across the development. By combining on-site renewables with incredible standards of insulation and air-tightness we've created homes that don’t require traditional central heating systems.
Our vision for the Climate Innovation District’s design comes from our Development Director, Jonathan Wilson.
We asked him about how he envisages the design of the district benefiting the residents and the wider city.
“My vision was to create an environment that was fun, progressive and inspiring, to encourage and reinforce social cohesion and pedestrianism into an integrated place, firmly connected to the city”.
Sounds great. Easier said than done, but we love a challenge.
The traditional approach to designing large scale, urban developments would rely heavily on existing, restrictive infrastructure which limits and blocks innovation and allows no opportunity for transformation.
So we’ve decided to build our own instead. We’re investing in creating infrastructure in and above ground to create a resilient place which can evolve over time and offer continued improvements to welcome new technologies and opportunities. This means on-site renewables and heat networks to power and warm buildings sustainably, but also fibre internet connectivity to give the fastest possible speeds right into the home.
The Climate Innovation District will also use data on energy use to maximise the utilisation of on-site renewables across the development. This data can also be used to generate greater efficiencies as time goes on, and can help inform wider city infrastructure decisions.
We also want the design of Climate Innovation District to create a healthy community, so we’ve created a landscape totally free from cars, with plenty of open green spaces and communal gardens. To create a beautiful environment, we’re also going to be attracting wildlife to the area, with habitats for local birds, insects and even otters.
By building in the centre of Leeds, just a short walk or cycle ride from the train station, we can encourage people to leave their cars behind, and instead get regular exercise by commuting on foot or bike. For those who still need cars, we’re building electric charging points for every space in the Climate Innovation District, to make the transition to electric vehicles completely painless.
Our vision is for all the aspects of the place, from the Scandinavian design, to the sustainable technology and the natural river-side environment come together to create a safe, sustainable and healthy district.