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Euro influences on Scotland's Housing Expo

12 July 10 11:12
Artist impression of expo property
By Steven McKenzie
BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Some homes to feature in a showcase of Scottish architecture are having Austrian-made windows and doors fitted and kitchens supplied by Ikea.

Organisers of Scotland's Housing Expo said next month's event in Inverness will have a "very European influence".

A team of German consultants have also been brought in for the development of one of the plots at Balvonie Braes.

The exhibition's figurehead is award winning Lancashire-born designer Wayne Hemingway.

Among the 300 workers on the site are Scots, English, Polish and Germans.

Project manager Fiona Hampton said the expo had its routes in a Finnish concept that tried to stimulate innovation in mainstream housing.

She added: "The high-profile Swedish organisation Ikea are providing a number of kitchens, while the team of 300 working daily on site includes Scots, English, Polish and German.

"This includes a team of German consultants who have been assisting the development of The Passive House on plot 11.

"Designed by a leading Scottish architect, the property is inspired by the German PassivHaus model and effectively marries together Scottish architectural history with a modern, innovative solution to low carbon, sustainable living."

Granite cobbles

More than 50 properties are being constructed at Balvonie Braes, at Milton of Leys. The project has been backed with funding from the Scottish government and Highland Council.

According to the expo's official website the event will feature "fantastic houses designed with the future in mind".

Designer Mr Hemingway and his wife Gerardine have been championing the exhibition.

They have been commissioned to create 12 gardens and a children's play area.

Construction of the 52 properties, which will be sold off at a later date, has provided work for local trades people, according to Highland Council.

Larch from the Highlands has also been used in building work.

Granite cobbles uncovered during improvements to Inverness city centre streets will be reused at the site.

The stones date back to 1880 and were overlaid with other road building materials between the world wars.

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