A larch-clad house by Malcolm Fraser Architects has been crowned the ‘people’s favourite home’ by visitors to the Scottish Housing Expo near Inverness
According to Highland Housing Alliance, the organisers of the first housing fair dedicated to the future of sustainable living in the UK, House NS on plot 27 best showcased ‘what could be achieved with a bit of thought on good design and a focus on sustainability’.
The alliance now plans to sell off 24 of the 52 homes exhibited at the Expo, with homes selling for between £220,000 for a three bedroom mid-terraced home to around £350,000 for a three-four bedroom detached home.
Malcolm Fraser of Malcolm Fraser Architects said: ‘We had tried to build something familiar to the house-buying public, and to our house builders that pushes forward simple, sustainable design - We are very happy that the public seem to agree.
‘Looking round the site, it’s interesting to learn from the other house designs [and].we’d like to think that we could do even better the next time.’
House NS is a three bedroom and two public room detached home. It has a highly insulated ‘breathing’ envelope using materials that can be recycled or from natural, sustainable sources with a flexible internal layout. Constructed of a timber frame structure with Scottish larch cladding and zinc roofing, it has a predicted annual running cost of £274.
Previous story (AJ 04.08.10)
In pictures: Scotland Housing Expo opens
The first housing fair dedicated to the future of sustainable living in the UK has opened its doors
The month-long Scotland Housing Expo at Milton of Leys, just south of Inverness, includes 52 sustainable homes some of which still need to be completed.
The show has received £12 million funding - a mix of loan finance from the Highland Council, RBS and housing association cash - is based on models found in mainland Europe -particularly Finland - where the housing fair concept is used to showcase innovations in housing designs.
Following a national competition run by the RIAS in 2007, 24 practices were selected to design the experimental homes, including Brennan and Wilson Architects, A+J Burridge, John Gilbert Architects, David Somerville Architect, Richard Murphy Architects, Malcolm Fraser Architects, Graeme Massie Architects, Rural Design and Oliver Chapman Architects.
Johnny Cadell, Cadell2 architects and urban designers, the masterplanner of the Expo, said: ‘Between masterplan, landscape design and the multi-faceted architecture, the housing in the Expo shows an exciting vision for future housing in this country.
‘The Expo design departs from the UK- wide volume-built house types and cul-de-sac formula that is usually offered to house buyers even in the most beautiful of places such as the site at Milton of Leys.
‘[The show] considers the Scottish environment and climate and how to respond to the sensitivity of the Scottish landscape. It considers the well-designed, sustainable and humane living environments of the future [and] has denser streets, more close knit and intimate than we are familiar with from the cul-de-sac legacy.’
He added: ‘Houses have been laid out in many configurations that present alternatives to detached suburban forms.
Throughout the expo, a series of seminars will be held, organised by Sust, the Scottish Government’s Sustainability in Architecture Programme, part of Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS).
Councillor Ian Ross, chairman of The Highland Council’s planning environment and development committee, said: ‘[The Expo] will put the Highlands on the national and international stage in showcasing innovative modern low energy housing designs and stimulating the wider use of sustainable local timber and other Highland materials.
Delayed by almost a year due mainly to the credit crunch, the project has the backing of the Scottish Government, the Forestry Commission Scotland, Highland Council, Highland Housing Alliance, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, SUST: Sustainability in Architecture Programme, the RIAS and Inverness Architectural Association.
Robertson Highland, one of the developers, has donated a truckload of LEGO to the Expo, offering a space for kids to get creative.
The fair runs until Tuesday, August 31, at Milton of Leys, just south of Inverness and accessible from the A9.
Children enter free. For further information, see www.scotlandshousingexpo.com