Managed by Zero Waste Scotland, the Resource Efficient House, built on the BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire, 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 its end of life.

Launching the house last week, Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead said: “This house aims to be the most resource efficient in Scotland and is a great example of resource efficiency in action: showing how businesses and householders can benefit when we think carefully about how we use energy, water and materials.

“If every house in Scotland was like this then we would cut the amount of construction waste being sent to landfill and help make Scotland a more resource efficient nation,” he added.

The construction materials and methods used harness best practice in efficiency, from using a pod design put together offsite in order to reduce the effects of weather conditions on build times, to the wall insulation which can be recycled post deconstruction.

The re-use and recycling of materials carries through to the fixtures and fittings with the 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 features a range of lighting, heating, and water conservation measures that are “kinder” to the environment, and make it highly energy efficient, and more affordable to live in.

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,” added Logan.

Leigh Stringer

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