Our review of the year
Saying 2017 has been a busy year for us at Citu is a bit of understatement. We’ve had big milestones reached or new major achievements pretty much every month of the year.
We thought we break down some of the biggest changes for you so you can see how far we’ve come on our journey to accelerating the transition to zero carbon cities this past year.
Working with world leading architects
Early in 2017 we partnered with White Arkitekter to help us plan the Climate Innovation District. They’re a Swedish architecture and urban design practice who are world leaders in creating sustainable places. We’ve always been inspired by Scandinavian design and placemaking, so it has been fantastic to have genuine leaders in the science of placemaking help us to create the Climate Innovation District.
Also in early in 2017 we set up the Citu assembly squads. These are a new way of building, designed to massively increase productivity and reduce wastage in construction.
On a typical building site, different trades all work for different contractors, and come in to fix one thing, ignoring whatever else is broken. There’s inevitably lots of waiting around for other trades to be done, and no real communication between teams.
The point of the Citu squads if to turn all this on its head. Instead of working separately, a squad is comprised of a number of different trades, such as plumbers, joiners and electricians all working together. They have their specialism, but everyone is willing to pitch in and help out with whatever needs doing. That way there’s less waiting around and fewer mistakes passed on to other teams.
Back in May we launched our new website, and in June we opened our virtual reality experience to the public for the first time at the Waterfront festival, so people could walk around the Citu Home and see for themselves the incredible architecture that creates such brilliant houses.
Stew and Oyster
Later in the Stew and Oyster bar opened in Little Kelham, the first business to set up in Little Kelham. The ethos in all their pubs is the same - a relaxed, informal setting for people to come together and enjoy simple, good food and a huge selection of drinks to suit all tastes and preferences.
The Stew and Oyster is a great addition to the development, helping to tie together community and creating a greater sense of place by giving people a friendly and welcoming place to congregate.
Green Lane Works Restoration
Stew and Oyster is situated in the iconic Green Lane Works building, which this year we finished fully restoring in partnership with historic England.
From a dilapidated looking building covered in boards to a fully restored piece of Sheffield’s industrial heritage, Green Lane Works has been transformed this year.
The Citu Bridge
In November 2017 we secured planning permission for a new pedestrian bridge spanning the River Aire, to connect the North and South sides of the Climate Innovation District.
This bridge will mean those living on the North side of the river can access the river-side cycle path so they can cycle to Leeds train station in 6 minutes, or pop over to Leeds Dock in just two minutes.
It will also mean the children of those living in the northern part of the district can walk to the nearby School without having to cross any busy roads.
Launching the Climate Innovation District
Also in November this year, we officially launched the Climate Innovation District, the biggest urban sustainable development in the UK.
It isn't like any other development anywhere else in the country. So to launch the district we didn't do what you'd do when launching any traditional new mixed-use development. This is a development with a purpose, so we got together world leaders in the science of climate change and sustainability and put on a launch event in the Everyman Cinema Leeds.
For those who couldn't make the event, but were interested in finding out more about the Climate Innovation District and the Citu Home, we've created this video so you can find out about some of the big announcements of the night in under two minutes.
At the event we launched the first 14 houses in the District, which you can see on our site masterplan.
The first sustainable houses in Leeds city centre
In December the first panel went through our state of the art manufacturing facility. These are to build the staff pods for the site. In the new year the first panels of the Citu Home will be coming off the production lines.
It is a historic moment for us. The factory lets us produce houses to such exact specifications that we can build them to retain heat so effectively that they require up to ten times less heating than an average house in the UK. It also means we can reduce waste and use any off-cuts to heat the factory with renewable biomass, further reducing our impact on the environment. Read our blog on the carbon footprint of a house to discover how we’re reducing the environmental impact of all Citu Homes.
The Wedge Building Almost Complete
Our iconic Wedge building the centre of Little Kelham is a building like no other. Its unique shape means every house within it is unlike any other. The Wedge Building is now close to being finished, with the first residents moving in soon.
Most of the Wedge Building is now reserved, but there are still a few properties left available if you want to make Little Kelham your home.