A Big Start For Little Kelham
Work on Little Kelham is currently in full swing. Exposed gets the latest…
It may sound small by name but, by nature, Little Kelham is the biggest thing to ever happen to Kelham Island.
The £13m eco-friendly project by award winning Leeds-based property developer Citu is currently transforming the former Eagle Works and Green Lane Works at an astonishing rate – with the first wave of houses already being snapped up.
The project is the UK’s largest development of energy efficient and virtually air tight homes in the UK which will help home-owners reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions by up to 90%!
107 Passive Houses (essentially buildings which use very little energy for heating and cooling) will eventually be on offer alongside offices, workshops, arts spaces, local shops and public spaces – with the aim being to create a strong local community spirit.
Only 15-20,000 Passive Houses have been constructed across the globe. They’re already popular in Scandinavia and Germany and, with energy prices in the UK rising, the UK is slowly catching up – with developers like Citu setting an example.
The houses use the latest in insulation technology, triple-glazed windows, balanced energy recovery ventilation and are heated mostly using ‘passive’ energy from electrical equipment, body heat and solar gains.
With average household energy bills reported to increase by up to £100 a year, Chris Thompson, Managing Director and founder of Citu, believes that by investing in energy efficient homes such as this now, home owners will be able to reap the substantial benefits of cheaper energy bills.
“As a developer, it’s important for us look at ways in which our homes can help those living in them lead a more sustainable lifestyle – offering them a greater choice and providing a bigger push for energy efficient homes,” said Chris.
“The idea behind Little Kelham is to create an area of sustainable housing, which not only achieves high levels of energy efficiency, but also encourages a sense of community – helping breathe new life into a previously disused area. Our houses will go further, offering people more than just a home, as we hope to transform the site from a property development into a community through its design and co-operative principles.”
The scheme is currently in its construction phase and the first homes will be ready for occupation in summer 2014. Prices range from £115,000 to £280,000.
Let’s Get Digital!
Citu has launched a new digital service that will enable Little Kelham homeowners to control their home environment in a uniquely energy-smart and neighbourhood-integrated way.
The digital platform, developed by Actuated Futures in partnership with Citu, will encourage cost-effective energy consumption. It features smart metering and control technology as well as real time electricity, water and warmth monitoring – essentially, homeowners will be able to control the environment of their home remotely from smartphones, tablets and other devices.
The digital platform will also include security monitoring and local transport information as well as detailing community events and other neighbourhood information.
Little Kelham will be the first ‘smart homes’ development designed to improve understanding and awareness of energy consumption among its residents. Plans for the digital service will see it rolled out across similar sustainable building projects and designers are working on a version which will allow the service to be used in existing housing developments – as well as in older buildings.
Paul Connell, founding partner at Actuated Futures, believes that by arming residents with this information it will help inspire a shift in behaviour change – resulting in homes and people which are energy efficient.
“As consumers, we’re always seeking the next generation of smart phones, smart cars, smart computers – so why can’t we have a smart homes?,” he commented. “Little Kelham will offer a new generation of smart homes for the first time ever in the UK but, more importantly, thanks to the technologies used, will help create a future generation of homeowners who know more about their homes and are much more aware of their energy consumption.”
Aisling Ramshaw, Marketing Director at sustainable developer Citu, added: “Through community forums and links to social media, we encourage residents to share what they’ve learned and help each other see where and how they can change their attitudes towards energy consumption for the better. Thanks to this software we’ll have a central data hub, which will allow us to learn from our buildings as well as our behaviour.”
The digital service is currently being trialled at the Citu marketing suite at Little Kelham, which will double up as a bakery during the construction of the development, giving prospective buyers a real life working example of how the software works.
More information on the Little Kelham development can be found at www.littlekelham.com