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Raploch URC low carbon development

25 Aug 11 The Raploch URC has commenced work on Scotland’s first ever mass timber, mixed use, low carbon development, which will create a mix of eco-friendly apartments and commercial units.

Funded by the Town Centre Regeneration Fund the building will be constructed by Cruden Homes East and located in Raploch’s Huntly Cresent, in the shadows of Stirling Castle. It will comprise three commercial units (two at 76sqm and one at 96sqm) on the ground floor and three two-bedroom apartments on the first floor and is expected to be completed by spring 2012.  It is anticipated that the build will support six jobs in the local area.

Construction of the development began this month (August 2011).  To meet its low carbon targets, the building is to be constructed from cross laminated timber, which is imported from Austria as the product is unavailable in Scotland.  The external walls will be constructed to specifications which are recognised for their advantages in terms of sound absorption and transmission, air-tightness and thermal conductivity.  The building will be finished externally with zinc roofing and cladding with rain screen cladding at street level.

It is also the Raploch URC’s intention to install minimum micro-renewable equipment, with the inclusion of solar thermal panels for heating water and air source heat pumps for heating in the domestic units.  In addition, an electronic building monitoring will be installed in order to measure the amount of energy used by the building in kwhrs.  This information will be downloaded to enable the URC to analyse the data and the efficacy of the building as a low-carbon structure.

Kevin Braidwood, Head of Physical Built Environment at the Raploch URC, said: “This is the first time a mass timber, mixed use, low carbon development has been attempted in Scotland and we at Raploch URC are very proud to be leading the way in this area of construction.

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“As we have progressed to date we have met a number of challenges, for example addressing the issue of occupancy use and also satisfying building regulations regarding structural stability. However we worked closely with Building Standards to carry out a review prior to the Building Warrant being granted and have been successful in doing so.

“We have also worked closely with construction experts at Napier University to fully investigate the properties of the structure under various conditions.  They have been very supportive throughout the project design process and we will continue to work closely with them as the project progresses.”

Sustainability in Architecture (SUST) has also committed to working with the URC to develop a full case study of the project, looking at its design, energy and fuel consumption, use of micro-renewables and cost comparisons to similar projects so that the expertise gained by Raploch URC in undertaking this project can be shared with others, with the aim of creating more mixed use, low carbon developments in Scotland.

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