On the site of an old primary school in Bramley, Leeds is LILAC. The UK's first affordable, ecological co-housing project. The development of twenty houses and apartments welcomed its first resisdents in March 2013, and recently celebrated its official opening event. LILAC, which stands for Low Impact Living Affordable Community, is a cohousing group who have commissioned the housing with the assistance of the Homes and Communities Agency, the Technology Strategy Board and White Design.
The units use the innovative ‘ModCell’ bulding system to provide a environmentally sensitive approach to suburban housing which is unique to the UK. The construction is a mixture of timber frame and straw bale structural panels finished in a mixture of lime render and timber, with timber frame internal partitioning.
The site arrangement is in a courtyard formation and approximately one third of the site is landscape and allotment gardens, which is used by the residents to reduce their ecological footprint. The number of car spaces is limited to reduce the carbon emissions from the residents and all residents sign a pledge which commits them to the philosophy of the group. The design is contemporary and sets a new standard for both environmental performance and house design in suburban environments.