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UK lender funds new homes in Leeds’ Climate Innovation District

Loan facility will fund the development of 120 apartments and houses in the new eco-village.

Source: Citu Homes

In January, Ingenious Real Estate Finance, a London-based stretched senior and bridging finance specialist, provided a £19 million (€21 million) loan for the construction of new homes at what it said will be the UK’s largest sustainable residential development.

The loan will fund 120 new apartments and houses at the Climate Innovation District – on the north bank of the River Aire in Leeds by locally-based developer Citu.

In total, Citu plans up to 800 homes across four phases as part of the city council’s wider Aire Valley regeneration of more than 3,200 acres of land close to Leeds city centre.

But what is innovative about it, and how does it benefit the climate?

Inner-city innovation

The project will transform a former industrial inner-city site into a mixed-use neighbourhood. The masterplan for the scheme was designed by Swedish architectural practise White Arkitekter and is based on Scandinavian urban density.

Citu is using its own off-site manufacturing facility, in order to better control the process and minimise transport, to create timber frame and floor systems designed in partnership with Leeds Beckett University to reduce carbon emissions.

The homes will incorporate features including a ‘mechanical ventilation heat recovery system’, which captures the heat generated by appliances, transferring it from existing stale air to incoming fresh air. With more than 90 percent of heat transferred, heating requirements are up to 10 times lower than an average UK home, the developer says.

Jonathan Wilson, capital project coordinator at Citu, says the firm’s choice of lender was important. “The relationship we have developed with Ingenious is built upon a shared, long-term view of how we can work together on a more sustainable future whilst raising industry standards in both delivery and building performance.

“With many high street banks still investing heavily in fossil fuel projects it was, and is, hugely important we work with like-minded, ethical partners.”

The CID’s green credentials

  • Timber frame and floor cassette panel system designed to be highly insulated
  • Passive cooling and light wells incorporated into design
  • Mechanical ventilation heat recovery system transfers 90% of heat generated
  • Digitally enabled homes controlled via Google Nest allows monitoring of energy and water usage
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