Green goals in­te­gral to plot ideas

New Ed­in­burgh de­vel­op­ments pro­mote sus­tain­able smart de­sign and a ded­i­ca­tion to res­i­dents’ well­be­ing

The Scotsman - - NEWS -

UK house­builder Ar­ti­san Real Es­tate has an­nounced a new blueprint for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment at the firm go­ing for­ward, an­tic­i­pat­ing the chang­ing re­quire­ments of peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties in the wake of Covid-19.

The am­bi­tion is to match ‘smart’, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient build­ing de­sign with an in­no­va­tive ap­proach to place­mak­ing and com­mu­nity, build­ing on cre­ative con­cepts such as green roofs, ‘edi­ble’ gar­dens and green trans­port plans in sen­si­tive city cen­tre en­vi­ron­ments.

Ini­tially fo­cus­ing on new hous­ing projects in Ed­in­burgh, Ar­ti­san’s plan is geared to achiev­ing low-to-zero car­bon de­vel­op­ment, as well as cre­at­ing more open and land­scaped en­vi­ron­ments to ben­e­fit res­i­dents’ gen­eral health and well-be­ing.

In ac­cor­dance with The City of Ed­in­burgh Coun­cil’s Fu­ture Ed­in­burgh strat­egy, which aims to make the Cap­i­tal car­bon neu­tral within the next ten years, Ar­ti­san is now ap­ply­ing its sus­tain­able de­sign phi­los­o­phy to two ma­jor de­vel­op­ments in the city. As well as the north-cen­tral Canon­mills Gar­den, which is al­ready un­der way, the de­vel­oper has un­veiled plans for Rowan­bank Gar­dens on re­cently ac­quired land in the pop­u­lar res­i­den­tial area of Corstor­phine, which is cur­rently sub­ject to a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion.

Clive Wild­ing, Ar­ti­san’s group de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor, says: “The chal­lenges high­lighted by the Covid-19 pan­demic have ac­cel­er­ated the im­por­tance of chang­ing the way we de­liver new home de­vel­op­ment.

“We are now go­ing above and be­yond the existing coun­cil guide­lines, as out­lined in Fu­ture Ed­in­burgh. As well as re­duc­ing ur­ban sprawl by op­ti­mis­ing the num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in wellde­signed, sus­tain­able homes in low car-use lo­ca­tions, well-served by pub­lic and self-pro­pelled trans­port, we are also en­vis­ag­ing what peo­ple want from their liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment, post-covid-19.”

With ref­er­ence to the liv­ing spa­ces de­signed for Ar­ti­san’s de­vel­op­ments in Ed­in­burgh, Wild­ing ex­pands: “Sig­nif­i­cant em­pha­sis is placed on the qual­ity of in­ter­nal space and light to cre­ate en­joy­able home­work­ing en­vi­ron­ments, while ac­ces­si­ble gar­dens and land­scap­ing pro­mote health and well­be­ing by mak­ing na­ture and well-de­signed out­door space in­te­gral to the day-to­day liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ar­ti­san’s Canon­mills Gar­den de­vel­op­ment, sched­uled for com­ple­tion early next year, has pi­o­neered the firm’s in­te­gra­tion of low-and-zero car­bon gen­er­at­ing tech­nol­ogy. This in­cludes a com­bined heat and power sys­tem, which can also charge elec­tric ve­hi­cles, re­duc­ing both build­ing and trans­port CO2 emis­sions.

This strat­egy, com­bined with well-de­signed green roof spa­ces and cli­mate-re­spon­sive build­ing fa­cades, has been de­vised to help im­prove and en­hance en­vi­ron­men­tal in­te­gra­tion, nat­u­ral light pro­vi­sion and the qual­ity of in­door and out­door air at the site.

Sim­i­lar de­vel­op­ment prin­ci­ples have been em­ployed in the plans for the 126 new homes at Rowan­bank Gar­dens. The for­mer care home site could meet the city coun­cil’s re­quire­ment for well-de­signed, high-den­sity liv­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, cou­pled with spa­cious com­mu­nal ar­eas, which makes the most of wellestab­lished pub­lic trans­port links to en­cour­age low car own­er­ship.

The de­vel­op­ment is de­signed around a cen­tral court­yard gar­den, which would pro­vide al­most twice the level of open space rec­om­mended by the coun­cil’s plan­ning pol­icy. This com­mu­nal area would be lined with fruit trees and con­tain plant­ing and grow­ing beds for res­i­dents.

The pro­posed apartments have been planned for open-plan liv­ing, with large win­dows giv­ing views of the court­yard and be­yond, while green roofs are in­tended to ben­e­fit from sur­face wa­ter re­ten­tion, as­sist­ing in­su­la­tion for the apartments and the ecol­ogy of the area.

Ar­ti­san is per­haps best known in Scot­land for large-scale city re­gen­er­a­tion projects, such as the award-win­ning New Waver­ley de­vel­op­ment in the heart of Ed­in­burgh’s his­toric Old Town.

The de­vel­oper says that it is ap­ply­ing the lessons learned from the de­sign and ex­e­cu­tion of such projects to its res­i­den­tial work.

“At the heart of all Ar­ti­san’s de­vel­op­ments is build­ing a strong sense of place,” adds Wild­ing. “We are spe­cial­is­ing in niche ur­ban de­vel­op­ments in the most ex­cit­ing parts of the city cen­tre, cre­at­ing a high-value pre­mium prod­uct for a wide range of home­buy­ers.

At its site in Corstor­phine, Ar­ti­san in­tends to pro­mote health and well­be­ing, us­ing na­ture and out­door spa­ces to en­hance its res­i­dents’ day-to-day – and, be­low, night time – liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ences

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