Construction News

Sat September 25 2021

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Scottish showhome demonstrates waste reduction possibilities

20 Sep 13 A new demonstration house that showcases state-of-the-art energy efficiency and recycling has opened by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Scotland.

The Resource Efficient House
The Resource Efficient House

The Resource Efficient House is on the BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig, Lanarkshire yesterday.

The three-bedroom house is one of the first projects of the Scottish government’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme, managed by Zero Waste Scotland, and built in partnership with Tigh Grian.

The home demonstrates how the latest principles in resource efficiency and waste reduction can be applied in house-building. Currently an average three-bed home built in Scotland can produce as much as 13 tonnes of construction waste, costing up to £500 per unit. The Resource Efficient House produced less than five tonnes of construction waste, with less than one tonne going to landfill.

As well as facilitating sustainable living for occupants, the design of the house will ensure maximum recycling and re-use of products at the end of its life. The wall insulation can be recycled after deconstruction.

Other elements have already been recycled. Kitchen work surfaces made from material reprocessed from recycled coffee cups; recycled paint for the décor; and kitchen bar stools made from reclaimed wood from whisky barrels.

The house was built from pods, put together off-site to reduce the effects of weather conditions on build time, improving construction efficiency.

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The lighting, heating and water conservation measures that are designed to make it highly energy efficient with reduced fuel consumption.

Director of BRE Scotland Rufus Logan said: “The Resource Efficient house is chock-full of the innovation our small country is world renowned for. This is evident in its design right down to the products materials and technologies it incorporates. The learning from this project will be of huge benefit not only to Scotland and the rest of the UK but to countries around the world who are being challenged to build with fewer resources – I’m very pleased to host this house on our Innovation Park.”

Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland 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. Furthermore, the potential impact on waste from the construction sector is very attractive. If what happened with this project were replicated across the sector, we would significantly reduce Scotland’s construction waste to landfill.”

BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig

The Resource Efficient House is the second building to be completed on the BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig, the former steelworks site that is now being regenerated. Other projects under construction include:

  • The Applegreen Home - an offsite manufactured volumetric steel frame system house with integrated renewables manufactured by Applegreen Homes. The project has potential to deliver an affordable, high performance, high quality solution for the volume housing market. 
  • BRE Refurbished House - using historical design information and traditional materials, BRE Scotland will recreate a full-scale ‘four-in-a-block’ typical Scottish dwelling. Each of the four compartments will be refurbished using different approaches, materials and technologies, and will be monitored over time to provide real performance data

Later this year work will start on:

  • The Curriculum House - designed and constructed by pre- apprentice and apprentice students, this demonstration home will provide a live learning environment for Motherwell College’s CADD, Architectural Design and Construction courses
  • Homegrown Timber House -  created by Anderson Bell and Christie Architects, in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, this house will showcase the use of homegrown timber products to deliver an affordable,  low embodied energy, healthy and thermally efficient dwelling.

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