Minister for Housing and Communities Approves Showcase for Eco Homes

Eco Homes

House Builders Encouraged to Adopt New Energy Homes Concept

Alex Neil, Minister for Housing and Communities, has given his seal of approval to Scotland’s first development of New Energy Homes (NEH) - a new concept in house building which deploys technology and construction methods only previously available for one-off architect designed homes.

The NEH concept showcase at Tarbat Park, Kildary, Easter Ross which Alex Neil visited today, could offer developers and public sector organisations across the Highlands, Scotland and the UK a chance to adopt a new strategy of creating eco homes that are not just the preserve of the wealthy. The homes comply with all new Scottish Building standards going forward to 2013 and aspire to meet Level 4/5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes – a recognised industry standard for ecological design.

The NEH concept has been developed by the Highland Housing Alliance (HHA), a not-for-profit development company that has been set up to build more new affordable and private houses for people in the Highlands. HHA is acknowledged as a model for best practice in tackling local housing problems. Each home features renewable heat pump technology, under-floor heating, roof insulation, good ventilation and low energy windows. Built by Tulloch Homes, they are some of the first homes in Scotland and the UK to use Scotframe’s injected PU closed panel timber frame which reduces air leakage prevents draughts and helps maintain a steady temperature.

Highland Housing Alliance Chief Executive Susan Torrance, commented: "Kildary is an opportunity to showcase the NEH concept which is designed and made in Scotland. It is cost effective, fast to construct and highly energy efficient and has the added benefit of creating a healthy home environment. These are some of the first homes in the UK to use this kind of timber frame technology.

"We believe energy cost savings will be significant and we will be collecting information on energy use from the houses over the next two years. Launching the New Energy Homes is an important step for the Highlands, Scotland and the UK. The concept could be adopted by any house builder and rolled out across the country." David Sutherland Executive Chairman of Tulloch Homes Group Ltd commented; "Our role in the New Energy Homes (NEH) project was to deliver, the Highland Housing Alliance’s ambition in the arena of delivering energy efficient homes throughout the Highlands of Scotland. Our task was to drive out solutions and in particular, with Scotframe to achieve the highest energy ratings possible and at the same time introduce modern methods of construction to secure wind and watertight status within three days from the delivery of kits to houses being roofed.

"The product range looks excellent and has the best energy outputs we’ve ever seen in new build housing. We firmly believe that the methods we have jointly introduced to the NEH project will be adopted across the fence in the private sector, as all the industry moves towards the targets the Highland Housing Alliance has set via their NEH brand. However, the challenge in terms of driving down the energy outputs has only just begun!" Bob Edwards of Scotframe explained "We are proud to be supplying a high performance, closed panel timber frame system which achieves unrivalled standards in thermal efficiency and air tightness together with future proofed levels of CO2 emissions. Recognising the importance to Highland Housing Alliance of energy efficiency in these new homes, working closely with the design and construction teams at Tulloch's has meant that we have been able to achieve a solution which represents some of the most thermally efficient houses ever built in the UK.