This page highlights some of the key design considerations, innovation and sustainability activities that the Capital Investment Team are currently taking forward.
The Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 strategy aims to “help everyone to have a safe, high quality home that is affordable and meets their needs in the place they want to be”. Some of the key principles within the Housing to 2040 strategy include a focus on climate change, making better use of off site construction, the provision of good quality green open space, increased internal space standards and good access to services and transport links.
All our new homes are designed to comply with a range of standards not only to ensure quality and compliance but to help tackle fuel poverty and climate change issues.
Key standards which we aim to achieve as a minimum are:
- Building Regulations Enhanced Silver Sustainability Standards (Aspects 1 & 2)
- An Energy Performance Rating of “B”
- Housing for Varying Needs
- Secured by Design Gold Standard
Planned regulatory and strategic changes which we need to be mindful of when designing and future proofing our new homes include:
- Heat Standard 2024
- Building Standards Technical Handbook – Section 6: Energy
- Housing for Varying Needs Review/Inclusive Living
Where possible we will participate in any stakeholder engagement sessions and provide feedback.
Sustainability and Innovation Activities
We have developed a number of affordable housing projects over the years to demonstrate our commitment to innovation and sustainability including our first sustainable housing project in 2000, the first fully accredited Passivhaus standard house in the UK for social rent in 2010, and detailed comparative outcome studies published about our 2012 Housing Innovation Showcase project.
Our current and planned innovation activities include:
- Passivhaus – 30 unit project for social rent in Gauldry where all new homes will be designed and built to Passivhaus standards.
- Off Site Construction – we are currently developing plans to use modular and panelised systems on 2 small gap sites. The lessons learned from these pilot projects will help inform future use of MMC provision within our mainstream affordable housing programme.
- Low Carbon Heating Solutions – to ensure that we’re ahead of the Scottish Government’s plans to move away from the installation of gas heating in new homes from 2024 we are exploring alternative low carbon heating sources. In addition to air source heat pumps which have been installed at a number of developments, we have projects at Pilmuir Street, Dunfermline and Tullis Russell, Glenrothes on site which will connect into their respective local district heating networks.
- Post Occupancy Study – a 2 year building performance study of our Fraser Avenue regeneration project is underway to establish the as built performance against design predictions including performance testing of the breathing wall technology used.
- Electric Vehicle Charging – to support the Scottish Government’s vision of removing the need for petrol and diesel vehicles on Scotland’s roads by 2032 we have implemented an Electrical Vehicle Charging Strategy. Our first public electric vehicle charging point has been installed at South Avenue, Blairhall.
- Housing Options – plans to develop 30 new amenity affordable homes in Guardbridge which, once complete, will be allocated to households over the age of 55. This special lettings initiative will help address an identified housing need in the area and facilitate continued delivery of affordable housing in an area where school capacity cannot support new family housing.
- Community Led Regeneration – regeneration work continues at Fraser Avenue to replace 236 unpopular common access flats with approximately 189 new energy efficient affordable homes on a phased basis. Phase 1 complete (53 units) and Phase 2 (61 units) currently under construction.
- Conversion of Empty Properties – recently completed conversion works at Hunter House, Kirkcaldy to provide 5 self contained flats along with support facilities and our former office at Natal Place, Cowdenbeath to provide 2 private access flats for social rent. Both projects repurpose and revitalise important town centre buildings along with helping to support Fife’s Rapid Re-Housing strategy.
- Virtual Community Consultation – as a result of Covid restrictions we have been unable to hold face to face and group events. Community feedback is really important to us therefore we have introduced virtual consultation and engagement events to allow us to continue to obtain views and comments from communities where we plan to develop.