Preparations for UKREiiF
As the city of Leeds prepares to welcome over 5000 guests to its inaugural UKREiiF event from today, our Leeds studio is looking forward to a week of people coming together to connect and drive change across the industry.
Taking place from Tuesday the 17th of May until Thursday the 19th May, the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) is a great opportunity for our Leeds team to reflect on the changes seen across the city and how our practice has evolved as a result. Operating across the North, our team works to create inspirational structures and places that have a positive impact on the environment.
With a packed programme of over 300 speakers, across 14 stages, our Co-Founding Directors Stephen O’Malley and Julian Broster, along with our Leeds Director, Leah Stuart and Senior Structural Engineer, Gina Wood, will be heading down to the event at The Royal Armouries Leeds and Leeds Dock, in the city centre, to enjoy the many speakers, exhibitors and events on-site throughout the forum.
In recent years our Leeds studio has worked closely with developer CITU on Leeds’ fabled Climate Innovation District. The Climate Innovation District is the biggest urban sustainable development in the UK and represents a change in priority for both the local authority and potential occupiers.
The completed buildings are the first houses to have been built in Leeds City Centre in more than 90 years. Through design, the development encourages people to walk or ride bikes rather than taking the car to work, but it also has space for charging points for electric vehicles.
We have also worked as structural engineers for developer igloo on its £12m development, The Ironworks. The Ironworks has seen land off David Street transformed into 53 apartments, 15 townhouses and two commercial units, complete with an under-croft car park.
As part of the project, igloo stipulated that homes won’t be sold to investors or be operated as PRS, they will be sold to owner-occupiers to try and create a more sustainable way of life.
In an urban planning capacity, we have worked with Leeds City Council on the creation of the Leeds Our Spaces document. Our Spaces represents the council’s “vision for the creation of vibrant, inclusive, world class city centre public realm”. Our contribution was to identify areas where surface water might be better managed using Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS), particularly relevant in Leeds after the Boxing Day floods in 2015.
Sharing more on our Leeds team and our work across the city, Leeds Director, Leah Stuart, says: “We love working in Leeds and particularly working on projects in our home town. In the six years we’ve been here the practice has been able to work on some incredible projects that have helped fundamentally change the city.
“I’m thrilled to be attending UKREiiF’s inaugural event in Leeds. We’re big believers in Leeds, its future and the UKREiiF event will help shine a light on the city and the wealth of built environment experience and enthusiasm we have here.”
As part of the Our Spaces work, we’ve also looked at ways of consolidating bus stops and reducing carriageway widths to make better use of the spaces between buildings, especially in areas where general traffic has been restricted and the majority of users are now pedestrians.
Leah adds: “Promoting cycling as an attractive mode of travel for all ages and abilities is another key objective, and the city centre infrastructure should reflect the growing importance of this.”
As visitors from across the country head to Leeds for UKREiiF, our Leeds studio is hosting a small drinks event for attendees. If you would like to find out more about the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.