Sustainable renovation and construction on Skye

Cottage in field, Scotland

by James Wilson

A successful webinar on The Sustainable Renovation Guide was co-hosted by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Ecological Design Association on 22nd July. The event was initially aimed at Skye and the Highlands, as part of Skye Sustainable Building Network’s drive to create sustainable construction industry in Skye. In the end, over 160 people attended from all over Scotland showing the level of interest in sustainable renovation.

Many uninsulated traditional stone built houses in Skye and the Highlands, and also more modern houses, have mould and dampness issues and rely on expensive oil and gas for heating. There is a clear need for an increase in sustainable domestic retro fit.

The Sustainable Renovation Guide funded by The Pebble Trust aims to demonstrate the importance of a holistic “whole house” approach to domestic refurbishment. As well as looking at typical improvements such as energy efficiency, the guide also takes into account how the occupants use their home, looks at the long term effect of retrofit measures on the fabric of the building and promotes the use of natural materials such as woodfibre board insulation that are better able to deal with the moisture vapour that is a common cause of mould and dampness. The guide also pays close attention to airtightness and ventilation. See common insulation problems and proposed solutions here.

Skye Sustainable Building Network are looking into the possibility of a pilot project on the island that will provide local case studies and offer training opportunities for anyone interested in using these techniques on a domestic refurbishment project.  For further information email us and we’ll pass on your enquiry.