Scandinavian firm, White Arkitekter, working closely with urban developers Citu, have designed the masterplan for the new Climate Innovation District in Leeds, in the United Kingdom. A central brownfield site in the city will be developed and converted into a sustainable, resilient, mixed-use neighborhood of more than 500 apartments and homes.
Scandinavian urban densities and principles have inspired the development, with a high standard of environmental performance and fully integrated services including healthcare, schooling, commercial offices, and manufacturing. Wide access to a range of social and green space is also crucial to the scheme and non-vehicular movement is a priority. Consideration is given to the distance people have to walk to access daily facilities, ensuring the complex is pedestrian and cycle-friendly.
The green infrastructure embedded throughout the infrastructure to encourage social interaction, physical activity, and play, reduce urban heat island effect, improve air quality and overall quality of life for the residents.
The complex will be comprised of the Citu Home – a new timber framed housing system which will be one of the most airtight and energy efficient homes in the world. Unrivaled in energy performance, it is hoped that when manufactured on a mass scale the system will help to mitigate the United Kingdom’s housing crisis while being climate-conscious in the face of climate change.
Chris Thompson, founder and managing director of Citu, says of the project:
The Citu Home, and the wider Climate Innovation District, represent a pioneering new approach to house building in this country which is one of the biggest causes of carbon emissions. The self-build market has been able to design energy efficient homes for a while now, but no one is doing it on a mass-scale and without a big change, the UK is not going to meet its ambitious targets for either new housing or reducing carbon emissions.
A mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes will all be manufactured on site at Citu Works, which once under operation will be able to produce 750 low carbon homes each year for future developments. The Citu Home system was developed in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University and the district will be completed in two phases.
The first phase of 121 homes and 191 apartments will be designed by White Arkitekter and the second phase by Manchester-based firm Ollier Smurthwaite Architects. Riverside apartment blocks and a range of waterfront homes will be constructed on top of an undercroft car park of parking spaces with electric vehicle charging capabilities.
Each Citu home will include – rainwater and stormwater collection, socialist mechanical ventilation with Heat Recovery system, cycle storage provision supplemented by cycle paths incorporated into the wider development, Smart-Home digital technology, solar paneling and green roofs and surfaces on riverside homes.
The scheme will no doubt act as a catalyst for future sustainable city and housing design.
The first of the apartments are due to be completed in early 2018. More information visit here.