Work to begin on low energy housing

Prof. Gokay Deveci, Councillor Karen Clark and Gerry Buda.
Prof. Gokay Deveci, Councillor Karen Clark and Gerry Buda.

Work on a low energy affordable housing development will get underway in Fraserburgh this month, after the project secured £1.4m of Scottish Government funding.

Aberdeenshire Council’s housing team joined forces with experts at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment to submit a bid for 30 low energy units to the Scottish Government’s Greener Homes Innovation Scheme (GHIS), securing a significant share of the £10m fund.

The fund, which was split between 14 projects across Scotland, aims to support house building schemes offering new approaches to the delivery of energy efficient affordable housing.

The Aberdeenshire scheme will see 16 flats and 14 houses built on Quarry Road, Fraserburgh. All of the housing at the site will be affordable, low energy housing.

The project is being seen as a flagship development for the council and will be subject to long term monitoring upon completion as a case study for future low energy housing developments.

The partnership came about after Aberdeenshire Council contacted business development manager at the Scott Sutherland School, Gerry Buda, to ask him to advise and contribute to a bid to GHIS.

The design for the new development in the Broch is based on the principles of the award-winning sustainable housing previously designed by RGU professor Gokay Deveci in Dunoon.

The Banff and Buchan Area Committee recently approved the council’s planning application for the project, with initial works expected to start on site in November.

Mr Buda, who is responsible for developing the commercial activity of the School, said: “This is a fantastic project to be involved in and I’m delighted that this partnership approach between Scott Sutherland School and Aberdeenshire Council will see affordable housing developed which meets top sustainability standards and reduces fuel poverty.

“Hopefully it marks the start of an increase in sustainable social housing in the north-east, as one of the key aspects of the project is the fact that these homes can be replicated and rolled out efficiently across a wider area.”

Prof. Deveci, who designed the first certified Passivhaus in Scotland in 2010, commented: “The main aim of the project is to incorporate a very high level of energy efficiency into these units, utilising prefabricated, panelised and super-insulated ‘I’ beam roof and walls, and to minimise the costs involved. The homes will have triple glazing, be airtight and make use of heat recovery ventilators, all aimed at lowering the associated energy bills.”

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee, Councillor Karen Clark, said: “The council strives to use the best in energy efficient technology in our properties and the Greener Homes Innovation Scheme funding will help us to do that. This is an exciting opportunity to work with experts at Robert Gordon University in using the latest methods in construction of our affordable housing.

“This scheme will employ innovative methods to help us meet our sustainable aims and we will monitor the development, in the hope of using the same technology in future housing schemes.”