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Double award for innovative Ross-shire home

By Philip Murray

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Geanaisean from Strathpeffer Golf Club car park.
Geanaisean from Strathpeffer Golf Club car park.

A NEW eco-friendly timber house in Strathpeffer has won two sustainability awards after the man behind it was inspired to do his bit to help tackle carbon footprints.

Geanaisean, which is located next to Strathhpeffer Golf Club, received two awards from the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP).

Reaching a shortlist of six UK projects, the building won the Best New Build category and also gained the Natureplus Best Product award for its Passive House compliant “natural” Structural Insulated Panels. Passive House is a green building benchmark.

The house was conceived by Strathpeffer resident Tim Dawson (59), who said: “I was lucky enough to inherit a large estate from my late father. I’m the end of my family line and like many others, have become increasingly worried about my carbon footprint. It bothers me that owing to recent government policy, energy-efficient houses in Britain are largely the preserve of the well-off. But then I thought – why not use my assets to help compensate for those who are less fortunate?”

He wrote a brief for the project, which was then designed by local company MAKAR.

Following visits to other Passive Houses in the area and conversations with their owners, he decided that he wanted a house designed and certified to Passive House standard. Originally a German concept, Passive House is currently the most rigorous green building benchmark available, ensuring a dwelling that is airtight, very well insulated, with guaranteed low running costs and comfortable to live in.

“We had previously designed the GALE Centre in Gairloch that is Passive House certified, but this was built by another company.” said Catriona Kinghorn, MAKAR’s architect who took charge of the project.

“Although the MAKAR standard ‘fabric first’ approach already met a lot of the Passive House criteria, we had not yet manufactured and built a certified Passive House, so Tim set us a challenge that I was happy to take on”.

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