You don't often see a wind turbine on the top of a high-rise apartment block. But that's just one of the ideas Manchester's Macintosh Village team has come up with to create this super-eco-friendly residential building.
When a residential developer comes up with a scheme with green-coloured render on the outside, a wind turbine and solar panels on the roof, and "The Green Building" as its marketing name, there is no mistaking what kind of homes it is selling. Taylor Woodrow is giving green living the hard sell at the latest phase of its Macintosh Village regeneration scheme in Manchester, elevating it from Good Life suburbia to this urban high-rise design by Terry Farrell & Partners.

The 10-storey drum-shaped building contains 32 one- and two-bedroom apartments, targeted firmly at the city's young professionals – although there is also a children's nursery in its triangular base plinth. Taywood, which is applying some of the lessons learned from the Greenwich Millennium Village to the Green Building, is hoping that the Manchester project will be the first of a series. Emma Cordingley, development director at the firm, says: "We're already looking at taking the Green Building model to a site in London and to other urban regeneration sites." The green influence is evident in both the design and specification of the scheme, with construction materials being selected from BRE's Green Guide To Specification. However, one of the more adventurous design proposals – to tap into geothermal energy by driving a borehole into the water course in the ground beneath the building – will not be in the real thing. "We were expecting the water to be hot, but it turned out not to be sufficiently warm. Boosting it would have been prohibitively expensive," says Cordingley. That does not seem to have harmed the building's green credentials, as it has been given an EcoHomes rating of "excellent" by BRE, and the apartments have SAP ratings of at least 100. U-values surpass the demands of the Building Regulations, at 0.2 W/m2°K for the roof, 0.3 W/m2°K for walls, and 1.8 W/m2°K for the windows.

Taywood started construction of the building at the start of this year, and is expecting to complete it next summer, but homes are already for sale. So far, buyers are saying that they are impressed with the scheme's green features – but the fact that its location is a 10-minute walk from the city centre is just as important.