Reiach and Hall Council Building


Happy New Year


All the best for 2012!

Overdue Update

Logn Overdue update on the research. 

The research explores possible lower energy and more appropriate alternative typology to
current developer (mass market) rural housing specific to rural Scotland. The
proposal states that this can be achieved by developing appropriate, alternative
housing typologies (to the current detached and semi detached types) which
reference existing domestic and non domestic typologies found in rural areas.
The alternatives will aim to balance quantitative (such as energy efficiency)
and qualitative (design qualities) issues in a design project with an actual
site and developer brief.

Research Diagram

Highland Housing Fair

Image of research diagram at the Highland Housing Fair, with thanks to SEDA.

Project Summary

Investigation of Alternative, Sustainable Low-Energy Approaches to Scottish Rural Housing Leading to the Development of New Qualitative Design Tools

Within the UK three million new homes are to be built by 2020; a significant proportion of new houses are to be provided in rural environments in small towns and villages.  There is currently no appropriate strategy for sustainable residential development in rural Scotland.  Current mass-market housing uses generic suburban development models which are unsustainable and lead to high carbon lifestyles.  Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), which requires all new homes to be “zero carbon” from 2016, is primarily a technical code.  If substantial new development utilises CSH and current suburban housing models in rural contexts this will have a detrimental effect on the sustainability of rural communities and a lasting effect on the identity, culture and character of the Scottish rural environment.

It is now imperative that alternative sustainable approaches to rural communities and rural housing provision are developed, with the aim to create an appropriate and sustainable legacy for the Scottish countryside.  There is currently a skills and knowledge gap holding back the design of more qualitative, sustainable, economical, energy efficient rural housing.   Alternative approaches must surpass current practice, architectural ambition and government legislation to form a robust sustainable approach to rural development.

The final outcome of this research will be a number of alternative tested sustainable approaches to rural development that take a holistic approach using design-led scenarios to determine more sustainable, appropriate forms of housing.  The approaches will be used to develop and test criteria against which more qualitative decision making tools can be created.  The research will contribute to the provision of more sustainable rural communities and more appropriate forms of housing leading to improvements in the culture, quality, sustainability, economy and energy efficiency of the rural built environment.  This research has the opportunity to be used to inform future policy making and best practice in the Scottish context and be suitable within a wider UK context and beyond.

Seminar Image

Seminar Image


Literature Review

Research issues

Scottish Housing