Are eco-homes the key to sustainable living? Igloo brings “fabric first” approach to Islington

400 CALEDONIAN ROAD, ISLINGTON, FROM £400,000: Show apartment designed by Kelly Parfitt

Burns Night may be over, but there’s a small patch of N1 with Scottish history that’s about to embark on a new beginning. Caledonian Road, a mile and a half-long stretch in between the recently transformed area of King’s Cross and Islington, is affectionately known as The Cally. It started life as the site of an orphanage for the children of poor, exiled Scotsmen, but it’s just been rocketed into the future with a little help from sustainable development specialists Igloo.

Yesterday, the last seven homes went on sale at 400 Caledonian Road, a mixed-use eco development that aims to use innovative low-energy technology to entice buyers with hopes of lower utility bills and ethical boasting rights.

A CGI of the new development

It’s been designed with sustainability in mind from the off; even the building materials were chosen to reduce the amount of heat lost by as much as 40 per cent, so residents don’t have to use their heating as much. Free energy is generated from the green living roofs complete with solar panels, while emissions are reduced using rainwater harvesting, mechanical heat recovery and ventilation, and a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system. These will be complemented by NEST smart thermostats, the brainchild of iPod mastermind Tony Fadell (he thought it up; Jony Ive designed it), which can be controlled via your mobile phone. Embracing modern technology and insulation means the scheme is the first in London to fulfil all 12 criteria in the Government-backed Building For Life assessment, which aims to improve the overall standard of new housing developments.

The pristine kitchen of the show apartment

In total, there will be 23 contemporary one and two bedroom apartments, a pair of townhouses and three commercial studios scattered around two private courtyards. Unusually, the homes will also only be sold to owner-occupiers in a bid to ward off overseas investors. Development director John Long says this approach hasn’t affected sales. “Take up has been astonishing, especially given that we’ve been turning down interest from buy-to-let absentee landlords. It’s a credit to our designers, Brady Mallalieu Architects, and clearly demonstrates a market appetite for well designed, sustainable homes.”
The architecture is a combination of a restored Victorian townhouse fronting Caledonian Road, a retained historic stable block and new homes. Coveted outdoor space has been added in the form of balconies and cycle storage. Interiors by Kelly Parfitt, owner of Birdy Designs, uses locally-sourced decor and bespoke furniture made in Brick Lane (pictured) to turn all that eco tech wizardry into something more homely.
One bedroom homes start from £400,000. For more information, visit or call joint agents Currell and Savills (020 7226 6611 / 020 7354 6705)

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