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Ross Barrett

Ross Barrett is a project architect with HLM architects working Passivhaus designs for Scotland's Housing Expo. Here he shares an ongoing diary of the construction process.

6 contractors, 5 months, 1 deadline

March 19th, 2010

Since winning the RIAS competition in May 2007, nearly 30 architectural practices and design teams including ourselves at HLM Architects, have been working immensely hard with the Highland Housing Alliance to make the vision of Scotland’s Housing Expo a reality.  Somewhat against the tide of the recent financial climate and even more recently the freezing winter weather, work has recently commenced on site with a consortium of 5 local Highland contractors (O’Brien Properties, Robertson Highland, Morrison Construction, William Gray and Tulloch Express) and James McQueen Builders of Skye.  Over the next few months, we will be posting regular blogs on the construction progress of the expo project as it advances towards its official opening just 5 months away in Augu­st this year.


The construction of our own 3 units began on site recently with O’Brien Properties amid the latest snow blizzards to hit the Inverness area.  Whilst the site has been levelled and set out, the holes in the ground have seen more snow than concrete due to the sub-zero temperatures, but there is hope that the coming week’s weather brings some welcome relief and in turn some more substantial progress.


When complete later this year, our 3 units will become only the second certified PassivHaus scheme in Scotland and still one of the first few in the UK. Our homes aim to use at least 80% less energy for space heating than the average UK house and will aim to demonstrate the benefits and appropriateness of the PassivHaus concept in the Scottish and UK climate.


Our scheme is one of over 50 homes on the site set within an innovative masterplan by Caddell2, which collectively hopes to truly raise the bar for Scottish and UK housing.  We hope that over the next few months we can illustrate the progress of some of these schemes moving towards the public event in August 2010 and more importantly towards the legacy of the expo community beyond.

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