Residents living in Sinclair Meadows, one of the most eco-friendly social housing developments in the UK, have reported massive reductions in their energy bills.
The project was launched six months ago, and residents have reported that their average costs have already been cut by a massive 75 per cent.
These 21 buildings feature solar panels, a boiler that runs on recycled pellets of wood and toilets that utilise rainwater. There are also vents which take in a room’s heat and re-distribute it around the home.
Fiona Trott of the BBC visited the development to track how the project was working out, and highlighted how the attitude of the people living in the eco-friendly houses helped.
She reported: “One of the first things you notice at Sinclair Meadows is the smell.” This light, woody smell is emitted from the homes as they are clad with timber.
Dot Wilson, who lives in one of the ground floor flats, was chosen to live in the complex with her husband Brian thanks to the couple’s environmental awareness.
Mrs Wilson, who spends much of her time gardening, commented: "We've got some leeks, onions, cauliflower and we're going to get some peppers and peas too.
"I've always wanted to live in an eco-friendly home and I never thought I'd be able to do it. But I can and I am!
"Everybody's got something different to offer. Those that can garden, do the gardening, and everybody else pitches in somewhere along the line".
The behaviour of the residents is being monitored by students from Northumbria University, turning the site into something of a living human experiment.
Gill Davidson, one of the researchers, explained that the team is trying to find out how the community grows.
“Some people started off being very environmentally aware and were living that kind of lifestyle already, whereas others weren't and we're finding that people are getting into the lifestyle much more now,” she said.
“There are gardening groups, and a community group is also being set up."