Downing agrees deal with Utopi for Square Gardens co-living

Downing agrees a deal with Utopi to incorporate ESG technology at its Square Gardens co-living scheme in Manchester.

Square Gardens co-living scheme in Manchester. Downing agrees a deal with Utopi to incorporate ESG technology at the scheme | BTR News
Square Gardens co-living scheme in Manchester. Downing agrees a deal with Utopi to incorporate ESG technology at the scheme.

Showing its commitment to sustainability, Downing agrees a deal with Glasgow-headquartered company Utopi to incorporate ESG technology at its Square Gardens co-living scheme in Manchester. The £400m scheme will be the first co-living development in the city to benefit from this technology.

Sensors will be installed in all 1,772 apartments, the communal spaces and commercial units at Square Gardens. The smart technology will collect live data and provide real-time, tangible and contextualised data that allows developers and residents to act and move towards the decarbonisation of the property industry.

“Our residential developments are known for providing affordable, hassle-free living in sought after locations right across the UK, where residents can make the most of city centre living. Downing’s all-round service has come through years of consultation and collaboration with our tenants, ensuring they have the services and facilities they want and need.  

“Installing Utopi is the next step in our journey, as we are giving our environmentally-conscious tenants the opportunity to join the Downing team to make our developments as sustainable as possible – through operation as well as construction.” 

Bay Downing, Investment Director, Downing

Utopi uses pioneering ESG data collection, reporting, and impact measurement to improve ESG performance and resident engagement at large scale assets. It is projected that Utopi has the capability to reduce a developments emission by 20-30%.

“Data-driven transformation is essential to reducing global carbon emissions and is key to future-proofing sustainable communities across the UK.  

“We are delighted to have agreed this partnership with Downing. As a transformative developer across the country, it can access thousands of tenants and educate them about the decisions they are making when it comes to energy consumption.”

Jonathan Burridge, Founder and CEO, Utopi

This agreement forms part of Downing’s wider ESG strategy. The company aims to deliver some of the most sustainable and smart buildings in the UK. As Downing continues to look at ways to reduce its carbon output, the company is also building a dedicated Green Team.

Last month, Downing reached a major milestone with the construction of the façade starting at Square Gardens. Phase one of the co-living scheme is scheduled to complete in August 2024, with the delivery of phase two in March 2025. Once complete, it will mark the completion of the regeneration of First Street.