A NORTH-EAST architect has designed homes for a major development in Mongolia.

Gradon Architecture, in Gateshead, has submitted proposals for 50 energy-efficient properties, capable of protecting residents against temperatures as low as -30C.

The homes would be built in Ulaanbaatar, a city highlighted by the World Health Organisation as the second most polluted in the world.

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Graydon bosses say the designs could form a blueprint to replace Soviet-era homes, with the three and four-storey townhouses featuring photovoltaic panels and solar hot water heating.

Chris Allan, Gradon associate architect, said: “Many buildings in Ulaanbaatar date back to the Soviet era, which means many people are living in poor quality accommodation, and some of it even lacks basic polystyrene insulation.

“In one of the coldest and heavily polluted cities in the world, this is having a real impact, especially on public health.

“By raising the standards of energy-efficiency in this scheme, we hope to create a blueprint for the way both executive and affordable homes will be built in the city going forward.

“If our proposals can deliver an exemplar project for future developments, we believe thousands of families will benefit from improved living standards.”

Construction work is expected to start in the summer.