The Low Impact Living Affordable Community (LILAC) recently opened its doors to a community of earth-friendly Leeds residents. Each of the 20 homes was built using straw bale construction and timber and marks the first genuinely green co-housing project in the country. Conceived more than six years ago by Paul Chatterton and others, LILAC is a physical manifestation of the group’s desire to reduce their environmental footprint with earth-friendly construction materials, subsistence gardening, and community living based on Denmark’s co-housing model.

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ModCell built the LILAC homes in a “flying factory” close to the site of the former Whyther Park Primary School in Bramley. Using prefabricated construction with timber and locally-sourced straw bales for insulation, the group significantly reduced the homes’ carbon footprint. Small allotments on site allow each family to grow their own food.

Thanks to a unique and affordable leasing program, the project enables even lower income residents with an eco ethos to get involved as the homes only cost roughly 35 percent of each family’s net income. Both community oriented but mindful of the need for some privacy, the co-housing project allows for both. Evening meals are shared twice a week, laundry facilities are shared, and there is plenty of car-free green space that allows the kids to play safely.

“The neighbourliness has been unbelievable,” Chatterton told the BBC. “It’s not even on a level you can compare anything to. The kids are just flourishing.”


Via The BBC