Climate Innovation District, Leeds

Climate Innovation District, Leeds

By increasing the energy and resource efficiency of urban developments, infrastructure and transportation systems, we can design a powerful response to climate change. Leeds is a case in point. The city’s Climate Innovation District turns a central brownfield site into a resilient, green, mixed-use neighbourhood of 516 low energy homes with integrated amenities for everyday life.

Healthy city living

The concept was to build a community based on Scandinavian urban densities with an exceptional standard of environmental performance. Working closely with forward-thinking developer Citu, the masterplan converts an industrial environment into a walkable, healthy, family friendly environment.

Housing is fully integrated with services, accessible healthcare and schools, offices and manufacturing plant. The entire district is punctuated by a diverse range of urban social spaces that are open to everyone. The Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) has been used at design stage to assess the performance of the district’s 516 new homes, in order to achieve buildings that are close to Passivhaus standards.

Client: Citu
Location: Leeds, UK
Completion expected 2022
£125 million
Citu, Paul Riddle

Once home to steel mills and chemical works, Leeds is striving for exemplar models of healthier, smarter and better connected urban centres of living.
By creating a viable economic model using the latest technology and innovation from across the world, we aim to create solutions that outlast our generation, and the next.
Jonathan Wilson, Development Director, Citu

The walkable city
A successful and sustainable local neighbourhood is a product of the distances people have to walk to access daily facilities; enabling non-vehicular movement within the Climate Innovation District to become a priority. The masterplan’s distinctive urban design allows for a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly street environment, so all needs are in reach by cycle or foot.

Health and happiness
The natural world provides countless benefits. Access to quality green space increases social interaction and integration, provides space for physical activity and play, improves air quality and reduces urban heat island effects. Characterised by dense, multi-functional and resource-efficient developments, green infrastructure is embedded throughout the district plan, encouraging healthy and happy lifestyles.

One of the UK’s first low-carbon homes factories

An on-site manufacturing plant, Citu Works, will fabricate the timber-frame housing system for all 516 homes. The plant is capable of producing up to 750 low-carbon homes each year, and is among the first of its kind in the UK.

A crucial step towards zero carbon
Harnessing natural resources is a key factor in achieving zero carbon living. The use of the sun’s natural energy will be maximised through passive solar gain, photovoltaic modules and active solar panels. By orienting buildings broadly to the south, generous amounts of daylight can permeate throughout the tight urban fabric.

Digital innovation
From early design stages, careful interpretation of the BIM model meant that the thermal performance of the buildings could be mapped out, ensuring low carbon emissions throughout the lifecycle of the building. Citu is one of the UK’s leading developers at the forefront of progressing zero carbon living. A such, Citu’s plans include enabling residents to take control of their home energy consumption with help from a custom app that can remotely control everything; from lighting to heating, at the touch of a button.

Contact & Team

Geoff Denton

Geoff Denton


+46 721 58 30 36

Linda Thiel

Geoff Denton

Freya Tigerschiöld

Rickard Nygren

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