Straw Bale: LILAC Cohousing in Leeds, UK

Lilac Cohousing in Leeds

Standing for ‘Low Impact Living Affordable Community’ LILAC is the UK’s first cohousing project. A community of 20 people are living and sharing this area in Victoria Park, making the world a better place for it.

It’s a world away from any of the more modern buildings in the Leeds area, yet it’s probably the most ambitious, looking to improve the environment and make housing more affordable for the local community.

Working with architects at White Design Associates, the community used the ModCell system to build their houses using renewable, locally-sourced materials that help to reduce carbon emissions by nearly half.

Comprising of 20 households, it’s an important build, because it allows first time buyers to get their foot on the property ladder with affordable housing that is unconditionally their own. The idea of LILAC is that you buy shares in the community, splitting the cost of your home with the rest of the citizens, helping out with building, cooking, cleaning and, well, being nice to each other.

Lilac co-housing project in Bramley, Leedslilac-1-sam-brown-cc-web

Written by Herbert Gruber

Herbert is author of the book "Neues Bauen mit Stroh" (New Building with Straw), head of the austrian strawbale network ASBN and partner in the Leonardo-project "Strawbale Training for European Professionals (STEP). As a collector he documents European straw bale buildings since 1999 on his website (database, german), in lectures, workshops and books.