A conglomerate headed by EcoPlus Homes, in collaboration with Sustainable Homes Scotland, SIPS Industries and Formworks UK, has confirmed that it has finalized a site that will be home to Scotland’s first set of Zero-carbon homes. EcoPlus Homes is based in Edinburgh itself and it is focused on developing environmentally-friendly housing options. Stephen Huber, the SHS Commercial Director, who had headed the first-ever Scottish Zero Carbon Housing Conference, held in Edinburgh, emphasized that these homes were the first step in making Scotland home to practical and affordable sustainable housing projects in the future. His company has been at the forefront of building and studying energy-efficient building designs that have met the quality parameters in Europe, over the last 15 years.

The testing and research related to this project had begun in the spring of 2008 and now things seem to have fallen in place to go ahead with actually building homes that will have appreciably lower carbon footprints. The site is located at Ayrshire, owned by the regional ecological tourism development department. It is beautifully located, being surrounded by a perennial lake and cold-climate vegetation. This project is being promoted as the most feasible of sustainable housing options in Europe, though the United Kingdom had taken the lead in developing the first homes in this genre of ‘greener’ accomodation.

In terms of technological innovation, the approach used for this project has already been tested in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. It is called the Passive House Concept and it exceeds the quality standards that are presently being followed in European sustainable housing designs. As far as controlling carbon emissions is concerned, the sustainable energy concept put to use for this project promises to reduce the energy needed for heating by up to 90%. The energy demand numbers have already been released and the comparative analysis is very impressive. Compared to the conventionally-built homes, these homes will have an average heating demand of only 15kWh/m2a. This is remarkably less than the usual demand of 150kWh/m2a for an Edinburgh-based household’s heating requirements. Remainder of the heating demands like the need for hot water will be provided through renewable energy installations.