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Case Studies > Scotland's Lowest Energy Affordable Homes

Dormont Estate, Lockerbie


Case Study Scotland's Lowest Energy Affordable Homes Dormont Estate, Lockerbie www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Scotland's Lowest Energy Affordable Homes In August 2011 the development of eight new homes at Dormont Estate was completed will all new homes built to Passivhaus standard – an industry benchmark of superior quality low energy housing well above even current UK standards. The design of the houses means they effectively heat themselves with little or no additional heating required and this, clearly, has a significant impact on the households’ living costs.

The two-and three-bedroom houses are triple glazed, super-insulated and very airtight and have state of the art heat recovery systems to ensure that all the heat produced by solar gain and from the occupant’s daily activity – such as cooking, washing, movement and the use of appliances – is retained within the building and is used to keep the occupants warm, even in winter. Hot water is all from renewable energy generated by roof-mounted solar panels and a small log burning stove that uses wood from the estate.

Since they were built a two-year study has shown that the heating, lighting and hot water for a three bedroom (6 person) house cost as little as £100 a year – about a tenth of the average heating cost alone for a similar home in the UK and about half that for a modern EPC ‘A’ rated home – and that total energy costs were only around £500 a year. These savings have a major impact on household disposable income and critically, in a rural area where car dependency is high, making other expenses, such as travel more affordable.

Significant health benefits are beginning to emerge too from living in a constantly warm, well ventilated and condensation-free indoor environment as warm, fresh, filtered air continually replaces moist stale air in the building. This is an important factor in reducing the risk of any respiratory diseases or allergic conditions. And it not just the elderly who benefit but children too as improved indoor air quality and thermal comfort lead to better educational outcomes.

The development was winner of Rural Development of the Year at the Scottish Home Awards in 2012 and has won two Green Apple Awards. It is recognised by Scottish Government as an exemplar development its Greener Homes Prospectus and on its Inspirational Designs website.

The development has hosted many visitors since it opened in 2011, among them housing associations (both large and small) from across Scotland, town planners, building engineers, architects and town planners. MSPs and Government Ministers have also visited Dormont Park, including Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP who said, following his visit in March 2017: “I welcome the Passivhaus approach to helping remove the threat of fuel poverty and I hope to see more in the future.”

South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has also praised the development saying recently: “Dormont will play a big role in reducing fuel poverty – it Is fantastic to see a new affordable housing development delivered by a private sector landlord.”’ 
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