The most environmentally built block of flats in Britain is based in Leeds city centre and is known as Greenhouse. The building emits less than 45% carbon than it is expected under the most recent building regulations, these building regulations came into force in October 2010. The building is fitted with solar thermal panels on the roof which in turn heats the water for those inside. It also has an aquifer which is situated 250ft below ground which also heats the water.

The British government want to strive for buildings which use “negative carbon”, this is when a building produces more energy than it actually uses. It looks as though Greenhouse may be the first of its kind.It has won sustainability awards, one simply for its insulation. The rooms have high ceilings and large living spaces and most of its green features are not visible at first sight. The taps in the apartments are aerated so that they use 25% less water but still produce the same amount of pressure. The floors have eco-friendly fast regenerating bamboo and the underlay in the bedroom carpets is made of recycled tyres. The 1930’s brick exterior is coated in thick external insulation so that the place has a cosy feel even in winter.

Rooms have a 32inch television which is connected to an ultra-high speed broadband connection.This provides information about regular bus and train times, gives you messages from the concierge and also acts as a doorbell. All TV channels come through the internet too so that there is no need for aerials. The TV also monitors your hot water and energy consumption too which astonishingly tells you how much electricity and water you are using at any given moment and how much it costs. This makes Greenhouse the first residential complex to carry this out. Many people explain that they have become obsessed with their energy usage since moving into the apartments and the system has made them a lot more aware of how much energy they actually waste on a day to day basis. For example a hot bath needs 120 litres to fill, according to the screen. This equates to a cost of £1.20, so if you bathed every day for a year you would spend £438 on hot baths every year.

The people behind the concept of Greenhouse are gathering data all the time to analyse each flat.They can then compare usage in average apartments and compare them. Many people in apartment blocks do not know where their meters are so they have no way of keeping record of readings. People’s behaviour needs to change in order to become aware of your energy consumption and this apartment block does just that.

Many of the apartments in the block have already been sold, so many people do want to become more eco-friendly. Of the 166 flats in the building, only 26 remain on sale (November 2010). By purchasing one of these apartments you are also becoming part of something quite different.

Author's Bio: 

Miss Fiona Davies is Sales Director for
She has worked in the property and land sector for the last ten years.
All articles on the website are written uniquely by her.