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Energy-efficient show home opens at Ravenscraig site

image captionThe Resource Efficient House aims to be a show home for affordable sustainable building

An energy-efficient show home which aims to promote sustainable building has been opened at the Ravenscraig site near Motherwell in North Lanarkshire.

The concept three-bedroom family house incorporates recyclable materials and was built using a pod design which allowed partial off-site assembly.

Planners and builders will be invited to visit and learn how environmental low-impact homes are affordable.

The "Resource Efficient House" will be at the site for the next three years.

The house, which cost about £200,000 to build, is the result of a collaboration between Zero Waste Scotland and Tigh Grian.

'Green credentials'

Both bodies believe that if its construction principles were adopted across the building sector then modern three-bedroom family homes could be delivered at a lower cost than £200,000.

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "The Resource Efficient House offers home buyers, house builders and indeed Scotland an innovative new approach to low cost housing, combining an affordable build and living cost with impressive green credentials.

"But beyond this, what this model offers is a potential industry for Scotland, with jobs and economic benefits.

"We now have a showcase example where the industry can work out how to design their projects and see for themselves that sustainable doesn't mean unaffordable or inferior quality."

The show home was built on a pod design so that it could be part-assembled off site to reduce the effects of weather conditions on building times.

The wall insulation used will be able to be recycled when the house is deconstructed in three years.

Inside, the house uses a variety of recycled materials in the fixtures and fittings.

The kitchen work surfaces are made from material reprocessed from recycled coffee cups.

Recycled paint is used for the decoration and the kitchen bar stools are made from reclaimed wood from whisky barrels.

The house also uses heating, lighting and water conservation measures to make it more energy efficient and affordable to live in.

Jobs potential

The building phase of the house generated less than five tonnes of construction waste, compared with a figure of up to 13 tonnes for an average new three-bedroom house.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, who opened the project on Thursday, said: "If every house in Scotland was like this then we would cut the amount of construction waste being sent to landfill and help make Scotland a more resource-efficient nation.

"Future housing built using these methods offers the opportunity to benefit the economy as well as the environment, with the potential for new jobs, and new products.

"I hope that this house will inspire others to adopt these techniques and help the construction sector to grow but minimise its impact on waste."

The house is located at the BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig.

Although it will be primarily for industry use, members of the public may be able to book tours through BRE.

More on this story

  • Future homes plan for Ravenscraig