End of back to backs

Pleased to note the greenhouse project in Beeston Leeds as reported in Building today. (Work starts on UK’s first carbon negative project) Having had an office on the fringe of Beeston for about 10 years, it was an area that fascinated me, a built environment from another era, with most of the housing of 19th century stock, including what must be some of the last remaining small back-to-back terraces

The greenhouse project is billed as being carbon negative – rather than just carbon neutral. It is hoped this includes the construction processes as well as the use of the new homes, and NOT achieved through carbon offsetting but through real improvements in process, management and technology.  I searched for a definition of carbon negative – but unable to find anything useful that was not linked to carbon off-putting, but for an excellent overview see this Worldchanging link 

It is fascinating to see how far we have come from back to back housing

 The rows of houses were literally built ‘back to back’ one room deep.   The typical back to back house has three rooms, one above the other. The housing became renowned for squalor, disease and poverty due to its cramped design and poor sanitation.

“Our house is a three storey terrace with a common yard, a privy and wash house which we share with fifteen other families.”


back to back





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