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Courtesy of DLA Architecture


Kelly's Yard takes its name from HMS Kelly, the destroyer once commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten during World War II. The site for this new residential development of 448 homes occupies the former Hawthorne and Leslie shipyard on the banks of the River Tyne where HMS Kelly was constructed. 


Designed by DLA Design, working in close collaboration with the Ollio Consultancy, Kelly's Yard will become one of the first zero-carbon developments of its type to be constructed in the UK.


Hebburn Riverside Developments Limited (HRDL), are keen that the new development should incorporate a path to zero-carbon, but in a way that also meet with the challenges posed by what is a heavily contaminated ex-heavy engineering site.  To allow this to happen, Ollio proposed a strategy for zero carbon to be achieved over time to 2030, rather than all at once. An approach where zero carbon is a way of being, a destination point, rather than an immediate design mandate. 


In keeping with this, innovative new design and analysis methods incorporate extremely powerful Evolutionary Algorithms (EA).  EA deploys advanced computing power to enable engineers to search through millions of combinations of the possible wall, roof, window types, building ventilation permutations and architectural geometry to find those net-zero energy outcomes with the lowest or optimised cost to build.

In developing this fabric first energy and sustainability strategy for the new building's fabric envelop, this prepares the basis for the future addition of heat pumps for single homes to add to the renewable photovoltaic panels already included on all properties.  Electric Vehicles (EV) infrastructure is in place, and 20% of properties will have EV charging points from handover. Being all-electric and low energy this future thinking strategy, paves the way for the entire development to be zero carbon by 2030.

Further to optimising energy and daylight, the new homes will include measures for water conservation, careful low carbon materials selection and the minimisation of transport and waste. A green sedum roof will add to the overall ecological habitat and biodiversity.

The project represents an innovative demonstrator for the delivery of future buildings through cross-disciplinary integration. It provides compelling evidence that the technology and the business case exists now for zero carbon to become the norm as the world enters a declared "climate emergency".



Client : HRDL

Construction Value: undisclosed

Date: September 2020

Floor Area: 38,000m2


  • MVHR Ventilation

  • Near Zero Energy strategy

  • PV Panels integration

  • ASHP Heat Pump

  • EV integration

  • Home and vehicle smart energy monitoring

  • Rainwater recovery

Kellys Yard Model.jpg

Visualisation of EA thermal model.


potter ea.jpg

Home Energy Consumption

EA Pareto Front of EA Strong Solutions (Each dot represents one modelled solution


New innovative P79 home in the countryside


Near zero energy P79 home in the countryside

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