The Virido sustainable housing project planned for South Cambridge, UK will include a variety of 208 carbon-neutral homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom homes. The project is a joint venture between the City Council and UK builder Hill and will be one of the largest developments of its kind.

What makes the Virido development truly unique is that it will be appropriately tested before full construction. While many green communities build first, and monitor later, the Cambridge village will start with two prototype homes which will be lived in and monitored by a graduate student for a full year before the project continues. Energy use and air quality will be among important factors monitored throughout the course of the year. This will ensure, as the project continues development, any challenges or setbacks that occurred in the prototype residences will be addressed as construction continues.

Like many eco villages, the Virido development will incorporate a number of green features all working in tandem to construct a truly sustainable community. In addition to using sustainably-sourced materials, it will include rainwater harvesting systems, triple-glazed windows, and an MVHR ventilation system that harnesses heat created in rooms like the kitchen around the rest of the home. There are an abundance of green spaces planned including green roofs. Once completed, half the units will be under the charge of the Cambridge City Council, while the other half with be sold off individually by Hill.

Read more about the development on Green Building Press.