LILAC Leeds: Ecological co-housing

LILAC, based in Leeds, is a straw bale built co-housing project, completed in March 2013 it is the UK's first affordable ecological co-housing project and possibly, the first in the western world.

The name LILAC stands for Low Impact Living Affordable Community which encapsulates the ideals and philosophy of the whole project. The low impact is about changing buildings and behaviour. They recognised that whilst it is relatively easy to change buildings, changing behaviour can be much more difficult.

Affordability: Every resident pays 35% of their net income to the community which in turn pays the mortgage for the whole development.

Community: There is a Common House at the heart of the development with a shared kitchen where they eat twice a week and a workshop where tools are shared. Washing machines are also shared in the Common House so that individual householders don’t have to buy their own.

The whole project took 6 years from conception to completion and was built in an old school site in the Bramley area of the city.

LILAC Leeds: Ecological co-housing
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Kevin McCloud visits LILAC Leeds

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