Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment Angela Constance recently launched two new demonstration projects on the BRE Innovation Park @ Ravenscraig, a mini-demonstration community of homes and buildings on the former steel works site that is tapping into our country’s legacy of world changing invention and innovation.
During her visit the Minister opened the newly constructed Refurbished House, a recreation of the “four in a block” home which demonstrates a range of innovative retrofit solutions for some of the most energy inefficient homes across the UK.
The project, which has been delivered by BRE Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Historic Scotland and was constructed by local builders Cruden will enable a robust assessment to be made on the most cost effective solutions of fabric upgrades for this building style, for walls, windows, roofs and services. Findings can then be applied to 265,000 dwellings in Scotland and 3 million of a similar design in England.
The Minister also met the brightest and best architectural and construction students from local New College Lanarkshire who have designed and will now start to build the Curriculum House on the Park – the first ‘live’ higher level educational project of its kind in the UK.
Designed as a family home, the Curriculum House aims to achieve Gold Level compliance with Section 7 of the Scottish Building Standards and is comprised of a thermally efficient closed panel timber frame build system called Val-U-Therm (manufactured by Scottish company Scotframe) which minimises the energy needs of the home and generates minimum waste.
With an adaptable internal structure conducive to meeting the changing needs of a family over time, the low carbon house will also feature the latest in renewable technology. Other key features include TETRiS an eco-friendly, super strong and highly insulated structural flooring alternative to beam and block floors. It will be completed later this year.
BRE Scotland Director Rufus Logan said ‘The Park is about applying innovation and science to find solutions for our existing and future buildings not only in Scotland but in the UK, in Europe and around the world. These two projects will have a significant impact in terms of making our buildings better but also in helping us progress the skills of our young people so they can develop careers fit for the global workplace.’