Developer’s revival of empty building highlights refurbishment at its best
Innovative Leeds’ sustainable developer Citu is celebrating again as the team picked up their 30th award for Greenhouse, their pioneering low carbon development in Beeston.
Just a couple of weeks after being heralded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change as a ‘win for the country’ Greenhouse was cited by judges at the Leeds Architecture Awards as "A successful and courageous undertaking" as the team accepted the award for Best Altered Building.
The judges loved "entering the amazing central courtyard" and appreciated “the sustainable mix of eco-initiatives, together with an inspiring social mix of workers and residents" that they discovered at the part-refurbishment, part-new build development.
Greenhouse was born out of 1930’s workers lodge Shaftesbury House, which Citu transformed into a modern, high tech, low carbon mixed use development, now often referenced as ‘a building of the future ‘ and houses a community of 250 residents and 50 office workers.
Earmarked for demolition when Citu registered interest in the site, after being derelict for 10 years, Shaftesbury House, had incorporated far-reaching construction methods for its time and the core structure of the building is something Citu embraced. Committed to working with the existing building where possible, the development team focused on enhancing it with cutting edge construction techniques and renewable technologies.
Architects West & Machell explain: “The original 6 storey building was retained and re-clad with a high thermal performance façade, which achieves around twice the thermal performance of the current building regulations. The building strategy was carefully considered across energy and carbon emissions, materials, waste, water, and health and wellbeing, to create a building with an exemplar performance.”
Citu Director, Chris Thompson added: “It’s great to win this award and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with Greenhouse. It was important to us to utilise as much of the original building as possible and having stripped it down and built it back up again, it now has a real future.”
“The design of the building is key to its identity but we were also keen to ensure the internal structure contributed to the overall vision. The courtyard was in existence in essence and we loved this layout of the original building. With the deli, gym and allotments that are now incorporated within it, this space now provides a real community hub that’s at the heart of the building.”
“As a developer we are committed to change, but only when change is genuinely for the better. There are some great buildings out there that are fundamentally sound, with well thought out design – what they need is bringing up to date, and taking into the future to ensure they have a place in our communities for many years to come.”
A whole host of renewable technologies are at work to make Greenhouse the multi award-winning low carbon development that it is including an open loop borehole and ground source heat pump system; solar thermal panels; wind turbines and grey water recycling. To ensure residents are maximising the savings this technology brings, all energy usage can be tracked in each home via IPTV.
Citu’s other awards for Greenhouse include: Energy Saving Trust Awards 2011 Winner - Development of the Year; RIBA White Rose Awards 2010 Sustainability Award and Bronze Architectural Award; CEDIA Awards 2010 Winner - Best Multi-Dwelling Europe; UK Green Building Council Sustainability Awards 2010 Winner Refurbishment of the Year; Estates Gazette Green Awards 2009 Winner - Residential Development of the Year.
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