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Housing Changes Communities: Tackling climate change

Ahead of the local authority elections on 5 May, SFHA's Housing Changes Communities campaign is highlighting the impact that housing associations and co-operatives' homes and services have on communities across Scotland. 

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Riverside Scotland’s homes tackle high energy bills and climate change 

Riverside Scotland is building 63 highly energy-efficient affordable homes in Dundonald, South Ayrshire. The homes are being built using modular construction methods which not only help to reduce energy bills for tenants but also tackle climate change. 

Modular construction sees homes built in a factory and transported to the site. The homes are already 90% complete when they leave the factory, with kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing and electrics pre-installed which reduces development time. Compared to using traditional building methods, up to 67% less energy is required to produce a modular home, and construction waste is up to 85% less that on traditional sites, reducing the overall environmental impact. 

The homes are highly insulated and have solar PV panels, and these energy efficiency measures reduce the building’s emissions and cut energy costs for tenants. 

The £9.8 million project is being delivered by Riverside Scotland and Connect Modular, part of The Wee House Group. 

The homes were built in Connect Modular’s manufacturing facility in Cumnock, Ayrshire, within controlled conditions, and were made wind and watertight on the same day they were delivered to the site.  

The development is also providing suitable accommodation and support to veteran families, with over 10% of homes allocated to military veterans. 

New residents Nathan and Lauren Cairns said they were relieved and excited when they found out they had been allocated a three-bedroom home within the development. 

Nathan Cairns said: “We’ve been on the waiting list for seven years, so this phone call has been a long time coming. We were in a small two-bedroom flat with our son and daughter, and, after lockdown and home-schooling, this couldn’t have come at a better time. 

“The kids are so excited to have their own bedrooms, and just having our own outdoor space will make such a difference to our lives. It’s just going to improve and transform all aspects of our lives dramatically.” 

Diana MacLean, Managing Director at Riverside Scotland, said: “When it comes to building much-needed new homes, we must respond with innovative solutions – modular living has the potential to accelerate build times, improve quality control and deliver enhanced sustainability by reducing waste and increasing energy efficiency.  

“Developments like Dundonald allow us to tackle the housing crisis at speed and scale as well as helping housing providers, like ourselves and local authorities, to achieve government targets, not only around housing and veterans’ homelessness, but around climate change too.” 

SFHA Housing Changes Communities Campaign Toolkit

SFHA has created a toolkit that members can use to take part in its Housing Changes Communities election campaign. It contains materials that can be used after the election. Click here to learn more. 

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