Project Details


Nexus Building


Leeds, England


June 2019

About The Project

The idea behind the Nexus Building was one of collaboration, setting up a “community of innovators”, as well as becoming home for the University of Leeds new Design and Innovation Centre. With an impressive new entrance on Woodhouse Lane, Nexus forms a striking gateway between the city and the southern corner of the campus.

The University of Leeds wanted their landscape strategy to create an exciting vision for the development of the campus – with inspiring, memorable and unique spaces – which complements the built landscape. A key aim of the University is for it to be a sustainable University of which the campus landscape is a core part.

They specified that the landscape development is to be an exemplar of urban biodiversity, creating a biodiverse environment and providing ecological corridors within the city. It was important for the campus landscape to be an inspiring place which encourages innovation, live research, learning and discovery. Invigorated, high-quality public spaces should form a network of hubs across the campus which encourage a diversity of activity. The campus landscape is underpinned by and promotes the university’s values of sustainability to become a living lab for sustainable solutions.

The external landscaping provides a relaxed, aesthetically pleasing setting, featuring breakout areas, a sustainable garden, and a biodiverse rain garden, all which helps towards the project’s “BREEAM: Excellent” rating.

What we did

As landscape architects, AHR specified a rain garden as part of the development. This acts as a visually appealing, low maintenance and biodiverse friendly, sustainable drainage system.

Green-tech Specifier is the specification arm of landscape supplier Green-tech. The team advised and supplied specially formulated Green-tree Rain Garden Filter Medium, manufactured from PAS100 green organic matter, screened silica sand, and blown clay particles. This growing medium provides the nutrition required for healthy growth, while at the same time, slowing down the flow, and acting as a filter for both rainfall and runoff from hard landscaping.

Working in tandem with the landscape contractors, Gavin Jones Ltd, we were able to produce a specialist mix of Green-tree Rain Garden Filter Medium to satisfy the particular demands of a rain garden, and deliver to site within a critical delivery window.

“We know from past experience that Green-tree soils are of a consistent, high quality, which is so important when working on niche projects such as this. Yet again, the service and support from Green-tech was first class.”

Ricky Whiteman – Gavin Jones Ltd