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Kirkstall Forge

Creating a mixed-used development with sustainability at its very heart

17.09.2019 | Blog

Sustainability may seem like the buzzword of the moment, but to help safeguard the future of our planet, we must adopt and adhere to the best practises.

At Kirkstall Forge, we’re creating a mixed-used development with sustainability at its epicentre. From using modern construction techniques, to responsibly sourcing materials and offering onsite amenities, our masterplan is to create commercial and residential properties that exceed regulations and provide an eco-friendly future for businesses and the community alike

Number One for sustainability

Our Number One office space in Leeds has been designed and built with sustainability very much at front of mind. We didn’t want to build a commercial property like the rest – our goal was to create a building that pioneered how offices should be, one that helped promote a better, cleaner and more sustainable future.

A key element of Number One’s sustainability is the excellent on-site public transport links – a newly built train station allows businesses and employees to adopt a more sustainable method of commuting, rather than needing to drive themselves. Cycle storage and cyclist shower facilities in Number One also offer an alternative way of getting to work.

Energy efficiency is integral to Number One’s sustainability. The building has been classed as an A-rated design by the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a rating scheme used to categorise the energy efficiency of buildings in the European Union, as we’ve mounted solar-PV panels on the roof to encourage cleaner methods of energy production.

The office space also attained an excellent rating from BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for infrastructure and buildings, which is a fantastic achievement for both Number One and the wider Kirkstall Forge development.

During the construction, we were able to reduce the environmental impact through our selecting and responsible sourcing of materials. Ecology has also been a big factor in Number One’s sustainable output, with biodiversity improvements being included in the design where possible.

Elsewhere, efficient fixtures and fittings are used to help control Number One’s water consumption, whilst onsite recycling facilities allow for a sustainable approach to waste management.

Our approach to design, build and everyday operation of Number One epitomises what the wider development wants to achieve – a sustainable office space in Leeds that’s not just for today, but for tomorrow too.

Solar panels at Number One, Kirkstall Forge

A sustainable approach to new homes in Leeds

Alongside our sustainable office space, our intention is to create homes using the same ethos: eco-friendly homes built using sustainable materials and methods. At the heart of our homes is a blueprint designed to benefit those living there, offering an energy and cost efficient, and sustainable way of life.

Modern methods of construction (MMC) will be used during the build process – a key aspect of the development’s sustainability. The use of MMC benefits twofold: firstly, using the approach can help towards eradicating waste and mistakes during the build – precision is an integral part of MMC, so the chances of material waste can be massively reduced.

Secondly, thanks to this precision, MMC works to much tighter tolerances when compared to a traditional build, which makes the homes much more airtight and again helps to reduce the amount of waste material and the risk of heat escaping – something that’s key for the winter months in particular.

The onsite MMC activity will also use structural insulated panels to improve the insulation quality of these new homes in Leeds, whilst a fabric-first approach has been taken when it comes to the thermal efficiencies to exceed building regulations. These features help prevent any heat from escaping from the home, meaning no energy is wasted or lost.

To further enhance the sustainability output, the timber used to build the homes also has a lower embodiment of carbon compared to other materials.

Maximising the amount of natural light which floods the homes and reduce the risk of overheating, low, solar-controlled window glazing will be used. Encouraging this natural light into the homes helps save on energy – artificial lighting requires power and energy, whereas natural light has no environment impact and can help heat your house, making it a cost efficient and sustainable alternative.

All the homes at Kirkstall Forge will come complete with a garage featuring an electric car charging point and all the homes and apartments will have storage for bicycles – both promoting a cleaner, more sustainable way of living for those living there.

A development tailored to a sustainable future

These all may seem like little factors individually, but the features we’ve included within the design and operation of a commercial and residential masterplan are integral aspects of building a development that lives and breathes sustainability.

For more information on our commercial building, Number One, visit our office page, and keep up to date with our residential project here.