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Walk & Talk at Raehills - 30 June 2016

A group of members of Scottish Land and Estates from across Central and southern Scotland, gathered at an overcast Raehills, to discuss Energy efficient, sustainable and economic housing on estates, using existing housing stock.   Stating at Raehills, David Johnstone welcomed the [arty and started the discussions by explaining the plan for the day and introducing Architect David Major, Carol Folksman of Airflow (ventilation and heat recovery).  The group then left, collecting on their way out, drawings, specification and costings of the project to be visited.  A convoy of vehicles then headed to Raehills Home farm which until recently had been a derelict steading.





David spoke candidly about the design process that they had gone through and also the reasoning why Passivhaus standard were chosen.  The main reasoning, coupled with comparable costing (due to careful contractor selection and management) was that a Passivhaus is one which tenants will appreciate, and the low running costs and high levels of comfort make tenant churn considerably less and also finding new tenants much easier, thus less and smaller voids in rental. 

David Major, Architect from White Hill Design Studio, then described in further detail the key principle of the Passivhaus and how this was implemented I the conversion project.  Key to the successful implementation for the Home farm project, including:

  • Insulation,
  • Triple Glazed Windows
  • Set Back windows and doors
  • Superior air tightness
  • Controlled ventilation and heat recovery

The group then undertook a site visit looking around three of the four houses which have been built within the steading building.  After satisfying the interet and anmswering the extensive questions posed to Davihd, David NMajor and Carol, the group re-joined their cars to drive the couple of mile and considerable elevation to ‘Minnygap’.

Minnygap was until 18 months ago a 90-0 acre tenanted hill farm, and since the tenant left, the land has been taken in hand, bit the house and steading are vacant.  The house, of considerable age and poor condition poses the estate with a quandary of what to do next.    After a brief introduction to the property and the ‘quandary’ the group were invited to look round the house (3 bedroom and 2 reception rooms).  Tour concluded discussions then continued outside, with the discussion centred around the prospect of replacing the house by demolition and replacement with a new build rural design “Annandale Passivhaus”, a design concept which in association with White Hill Design Studio, the estate has developed.  


The day ended with further discussions over a lunch of soup and sandwiches back a Raehills. 

A really vibrant  and engaging event.  Many thanks again to all involved, particularly Lord David Johnstone.


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