New sustainable homes ready to welcome tenants in Alness

Issued by MuckleMedia

Highland Councillors paid a visit today to Alness to watch the final block of apartments being stalled in a pioneering social housing project.

Commissioned by the Highland Council, local ward members and members of the Council’s Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee witnessed the final stage of the one bedroom apartments at Kendal Court being craned into position.

Developed and designed by Inverness based social housing company JNESpace and manufactured by Carbon Dynamic in its factory in Invergordon, this social housing project is the first of its kind in Scotland and delivers fully assembled buildings which are ready for tenants to move into on delivery to site.

Each sustainable apartment is manufactured off-site with even the pitched roof assembled in the factory and then craned into place in a single day.

Each with its own independent access and balcony, the eight one bedroom apartments were manufactured and fitted out in Carbon Dynamic’s Invergordon factory. They are designed to ensure superb levels of comfort, thermal performance and energy efficiency. Both the energy efficiency rating and environmental impact rating have been certificated band A+ – exceeding Scotland’s average of band D homes, meaning the apartments have very low running costs and CO2 emissions. It is anticipated that each flat should cost just £20 per month to run.

JNESpace Director Andrew Bruce said: “It is such a pleasure to see the finished apartments, they not only look fantastic but are the first step in helping to solve the challenge of social housing shortages. We have been working on a solution to help address this problem for a number of years and this has resulted in a concept of modular, timber based social housing using CLT, cross laminated timber, a material used widely abroad but less so here in Scotland. We appointed the team at Carbon Dynamic to benefit from their experience in innovative off-site modular manufacture and they have enabled us to turn our concept into reality.”

Matt Stevenson, Managing Director at Carbon Dynamic said: “We are delighted with our first social housing project. It demonstrates an alternative to traditional social housing to help tackle fuel poverty and the apartments installed today will do just that. Using natural materials, the modular, energy-efficient design will perform much more dynamically over time and it will be great to see the tenants who move into the new apartments settle into their new healthy homes without having to worry about the pressure of excessive fuel costs.”

Councillor Audrey Sinclair, Chair of Highland Council’s, Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: “We hope this will be the first of many more such sustainable social housing projects. These units are high quality, easy to install and extremely well-insulated making them inexpensive to heat. They can be quickly built to a high standard meaning less waste and less cost, the off-site construction and delivery also means less disruption to communities with tenants moving soon after they have been installed. This is a credible, low carbon solution to community housing needs and the Council look forward to receiving feedback from tenants at Kendal Court as they move in to their new homes.”

Scottish Minister for Housing, Margaret Burgess said: “Housing is, and will remain, at the heart of the Government’s ambitions to deliver a fairer and more prosperous country. This new housing project is a wonderful example of what can be achieved through partnership working, between the Scottish Government and the Highland Council and partners, to provide new and innovative housing solutions for local communities.”

This unique social housing project is a great success story for local business collaboration. JNESpace and Carbon Dynamic are also worked with Simpson Builders in Beauly who constructed the site works ahead of installation; Inverness blacksmiths DMH for the pre-fabricated stairs and balconies and Treecraft Woodwork in Dornoch for the windows. All the architectural and engineering design work is by local companies HRI Architects and Fairhurst. The modular structural engineering was provided by engineers, Applied Engineering Design (AED) of Edinburgh.

Off-site manufacture has meant the site works and foundations can be carried out at the same time as the modules are being manufactured in the factory leading to a significantly shorter overall programme.

25 Nov 2015