It’s happening! The first exchange at the Climate Innovation District is complete.

The first homes at the Climate Innovation District are now just a few months away from completion. We’ve had delays along the way as we had to ensure our homes were meeting the incredibly tough performance targets we had set. But now we’ve perfected the process of achieving an airtightness level that’s over ten times better than UK building regulations, we’re close to the first people moving in. 

In fact, we’re so close that we’ve now had the first person exchange on a house in the Climate Innovation District, the largest urban sustainable development in the UK. 

Normally the first homes in any new development would be sold to investors for cash. 

But we don’t sell to investors, because we want to create a strong community of people who know each other, so selling to investors was never an option for us.

That makes things tricky. It means we need trailblazing people who share our vision and want to come on the journey with us. These people make what we do possible.

Ben, who was the first person to exchange on a home in the Climate Innovation District is one of these people. Without him, and others like him, we couldn’t create communities where everyone knows each other and has a real stake in their place.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ben. We’re so excited to welcome him into his new home in the Climate Innovation District. And as the first person to exchange, we were keen to hear more about what he thought of this ground-breaking place. So, we asked Ben what got him interested in the Climate Innovation District, his journey to this point, and what he’s most excited about. 

What was it that really attracted you to living in the Climate Innovation District?

Ben: As well as looking very stylish, well-built and in a good location, it was the whole idea of the Climate Innovation District that attracted me to living there. A 'green' area within a big city is very appealing to me. The 'eco' style of living is also very important to me, and I feel this is a direction we have to take in the UK when considering future housing development.

You reserved the first house in the district, before any physical house was completed. You got to look around an accurate representation of what the home will be like in virtual reality. How did you find that?   

Ben: Obviously nothing can compare to a physical house viewing, but with many off-plan purchases nowadays this isn't always possible. The VR viewing was certainly a new experience for me and is definitely the way forward for off plan purchasing. I was a little disorientated at first (I actually felt as if I was going to fall down the stairs!) but eventually got the hang of things and it really helped me appreciate the design of the interior of the property. 

What part of living in the Climate Innovation District are you most excited about?

Ben: I do like the idea of living in a community with others who have similar ideas and feelings towards the environment and climate change – especially as Citu are only selling properties to homeowners and not investors. The geek in me is also looking forward to the novel technological ideas, which make the properties environmentally friendly – along with the Actuate app, so I can control my power consumption etc. No doubt, the cheaper energy bills will always be welcome as well!

How will you be celebrating moving into your finished Citu Home later this year?

Ben: I already have many people lined up for a housewarming party. The roof terrace will certainly help!

If you’re after an invite to Ben’s housewarming party, we’ve got bad news. It’s all booked up. Absolutely chocca. It’s like Glastonbury but with triple glazed windows. We heard a rumour Paul McCartney might be playing.

We asked Ben if he could get us in, but he just shrugged and said we had to have pre-registered in August if we wanted to be on the list. 
The good news is you could always have a housewarming party of your own, just check out the homes available on our Masterplan. Like Ben, you could be raising a toast on your roof terrace in no time.

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