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Highland housebuilder that pioneered sustainable homes does the double; Makar's 'healthy buildings' a hit with judges

By Hector MacKenzie

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One of Makar's prize-winning designs.
One of Makar's prize-winning designs.

AN innovative Highland housebuilder involved in some eye-catching projects in Ross-shire was a double winner at a sustainable building awards event.

Makar, which designs, manufactures and builds eco homes, was recognised for its achievements in creating "healthy buildings" by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP).

Its projects include a "passive house" in Strathpeffer and homes in Evanton.

While climate concerns have led to housebuilders across the UK placing increasingly ensuring their new projects are sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible, Dores Road based Makar has long been ahead of this trend, and has been a market leader in designing and building homes with the environment entirely in mind for almost 20 years.

The first of its ASBP awards was the 2020 new build trophy for its innovative Passive House project in Strathpeffer. The property was designed by Makar architect Catriona Kinghorn, with the judges impressed by the high quality of the building and its full certification to the Passive House standard (also known as Passiv Haus) – which essentially means very little energy is used to achieve a comfortable temperature year round, removing the need for a conventional heating system.

The second award was for product innovation, in recognition of Makar’s unique approach to its n-SIP (structural insulated panels) panel system. This is the off-site panelised construction system Makar employs on its projects, using local timber and natural, sustainable materials, and constructed in Makar's workshops before being transported to each site and assembled to create its unique homes.

Architect Catriona Kinghorn collects an award on behalf of Makar.
Architect Catriona Kinghorn collects an award on behalf of Makar.

Neil Sutherland, the founder of Makar, said: “Having long championed the idea of homes which are both healthy for people and the environment, I am of course delighted that we’ve won these two awards.

"What’s clear from the judges remarks, is that they saw the Passive House design as being entirely replicable rather than just a clever one-off, and our off-site construction method as progressively becoming mainstream in order to achieve net-zero carbon housing as part of the way we tackle the climate emergency.”

Related developments:

Evanton 'sustainable' extension could see 160 new homes built

Major Evanton development gets nodded through

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