The Scotsman

Green goals integral to plot ideas

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


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
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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