Work on the first block of flats in Gateshead has been completed and a show home has been opened for future residents and potential buyers to examine.

The BoKlok (pronounced ‘Boo Klook’) homes were pioneered by Ikea and proved a hit in Scandinavia before the furniture giant brought the concept to the UK last year and teamed up with UK developer Live Smart @ Home.

The one and two-bedroom flats and two and three-bedroom houses aim to achieve eco-homes ‘excellent’ status and will exceed current building regulations on thermal efficiency.

The green design aspects include:

  • Installation of energy efficient white goods and controlled flow rate taps
  • Recycling facilities internally and recycling stations externally
  • Large windows to reduce the need to use electric lighting
  • Easy accessibility to public transport and cycle routes
  • Minimal use of tarmac to aid surface water drainage
    Longlife rubber roofing that can easily be recycled
  • The homes are expected to use up to a third less energy than conventional homes when occupied, as well as saving energy and wastage during construction.

    A spokesman for Live Smart @ Home told edie: “Because everything is done under factory conditions, there is less wastage and we are only on site for half the time of a normal build.”

    The developer was inundated with applications for the homes and last week, buyers had their first opportunity to see what their new homes – kitted out with Ikea furnishings – will look like.

    Alan Prole, managing director of Live Smart @ Home, said: “This is a very exciting time for everyone concerned in this development and we are now looking forward to welcoming our first residents.”

    A total of 93 BoKlok homes will be built, with prices ranging from £99,500 for a one-bedroom flat to £149,995 for a three-bedroom house. People can buy them outright, opt for shared ownership, or rent.

    The company hopes to roll out the concept across the UK and a second site in the north is expected to be announced this year.

    Kate Martin

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