Climate Innovation District, Leeds
Leeds Climate Innovation District (CID) is the largest sustainable project in the UK. As civil and structural engineers we’ve been involved from the start of this project which aims to create sustainable communities in low carbon developments. Drawing on international best practice and harnessing the latest technology, the CID will incorporate more than 500 new low carbon homes alongside manufacturing, leisure, offices and climate resilient public realm.
Phase 1 of the development consists of 300 homes, manufactured to Passivhaus principles. We worked closely with Citu, the timber frame manufacturer, to refine the concept. The infrastructure has been designed to add as much value to the development as possible through enhanced biodiversity and amenity.
The three apartment blocks, comprising 200 homes, are hybrid structures, incorporating the Citu offsite system and steel framing to form attractive open spaces within a short construction programme. The steel frame is provided for the bottom two storeys of the apartment block to act as a podium for the Citu system.
Structurally the key challenges revolved around the ground conditions and the innovative construction method/materials. The ground conditions across the site were typically unsuitable for construction therefore we developed a remediation strategy that removed significant areas of contaminated land and improved the properties of the soil where development was planned. The foundations were then designed to bear on the newly remediated soil with a raft slab adopted.
The SuDS exemplar see’s storm water managed at source, attenuated and conveyed through the functional landscape. The landscape contributes to a reduced flood risk, surface water is managed at source through a combination of tree planting, permeable paving, rain gardens and ponds. It’s a great example of a high-quality SuDS scheme that contributes to amenity, biodiversity and ecology, whilst minimising below ground drainage and avoiding the need to bury plastic attenuation tanks.
As highway engineers, we have suggested changes to the operation of the existing wider street network to prioritise walking and cycling. As Travel Plan Coordinators for the site, we have worked closely with Citu to help everyone who lives and works in the district to make sustainable transport choices, using app-based communication, as well as undertaking annual travel surveys and responding to feedback.
Winner Sustainable Development of the Year, Sunday Times British Homes Award, 2019
Shortlisted in the impact in Climate Resilience Category, New Civil Engineer Awards, 2019
Winner Excellence in Urban Living, New Civil Engineer Awards, 2018