Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project, Granton affordable housing, Scottish Net Zero houses, Plot D1 property

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project news

15 May 2023

Edinburgh’s next net zero carbon affordable housing project

> The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD) explores an innovative approach to design, procurement, and delivery of affordable net zero carbon homes.

> Planning permission has been granted for EHD’s second pilot project in Greendykes, delivery of which will be led by Urban Union and supported by Donaldson Timber Systems and Robertson Timber Engineering.

> The development of the Greendykes project will complete the last stage of the 15-year Greendykes North Masterplan aimed at regenerating the wider Craigmillar area.

> Both Donaldson Timber Systems and Roberson Timber Engineering will be using their proprietary offsite manufactured timber systems to deliver the build.

Greendykes net zero affordable housing design:
Greendykes net zero affordable housing

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Granton Approval

Proposals to transform currently vacant land into an affordable net zero carbon housing development in Edinburgh have now been approved by city planners.

Located between Greendykes Avenue and Greendykes Road in east Edinburgh, the development named ‘Greendykes K & L’, will comprise 28 two-storey terraced houses and 112 flats in four-storey tenement style blocks.

As well as being the final stage in the Greendykes North Masterplan to regenerate the Craigmillar area, the Greendykes K & L development is also the second of three confirmed pilot projects being delivered by The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD) – a programme providing an innovative approach to building affordable net zero carbon homes at scale.

The Scottish Government-backed programme has engaged a community of research and development experts to develop a catalogue of house types with the goal of demonstrating how we can create and set a new standard for affordable net zero carbon homes at scale across the six local authorities within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal Region.

The homes that will be delivered as part of the EHD will be built using modern methods of construction (MMC) including offsite manufacturing techniques in accordance with the EHD’s design and performance standard that outlines a route to achieving net zero.

Specifically, the Greendykes pilot will be looking to optimise existing, and develop additional, house and flat types for the EHD catalogue and to test design, performance standard and mass customisation of the EHD house and flat types. Using the EHD types allowed an additional seven homes to be built on site showing the efficiency of the EHD design.

Anderson Bell + Christie Architects were appointed by Urban Union, housing developer and principal contractors, to create the plans for the Greendykes development on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council. Donaldson Timber Systems and Robertson Timber Engineering will deliver the offsite manufactured elements.

Greendykes net zero affordable homes design:
Greendykes net zero affordable homes

Each firm will use their proprietary offsite manufactured, closed-panel timber systems at Greendykes. Both systems will allow the build to be less wasteful and more efficient, while reducing embodied carbon emissions and increasing the quality and energy efficiency of the housing once complete.

As the second project delivered by EHD, the Greendykes development will benefit from the data and insights gathered during the first pilot project which is under way in Granton. By carrying out extensive pre- and post-occupancy evaluations into build speed, energy demand and whole-life embodied carbon emissions, the development of the Greendykes site is projected to similarly provide insights that will feed into and inform the EHD business model and the ongoing regional approach to delivering net zero carbon affordable housing at scale.

John Smith, Technical Director, Donaldson Timber Systems said:
“The approach of one site, one contractor, and two different timber systems gives us the ability to measure both. We can test, monitor and compare each system all the way through the process from build to occupancy, which will teach us a great deal about how best to deliver future net zero carbon housing at scale.”

Nicola Jackson, Net Zero Projects Lead, Robertson Group said:
“This project is significant for bringing together two members of industry to develop and optimise the future model of net zero carbon house types. For Robertson, it is specifically important as it’s an opportunity to increase the pre-manufactured value (PMV) of our timber systems, meaning we can increase the quality of a build project and ensure that once complete, the homes will meet energy efficiency goals.”

Previously on Edinburgh Architecture:

4 February 2023

Major progress at Edinburgh’s flagship net zero carbon housing project

(L-R) Cammy Day, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, and Ainslie McLaughlin, Chair of the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme Project Board, in front of the ’Plot D1’ site in Granton.
Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project, Granton
image courtesy of The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD)

Summary:

> The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator explores an innovative approach to design, procurement, and delivery of new affordable net zero homes.
> Construction of its first pilot project ‘Plot D1’ in Granton, Edinburgh is making significant progress through its use of offsite manufacturing.
> The development forms an early action project within The City of Edinburgh Council’s ongoing £1.3bn regeneration of Granton’s Waterfront.
> The homes are designed to reach as close to net zero carbon emissions as possible and meet net zero energy efficient design and performance standards.

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator in Granton

February 2023 – A major milestone has been reached on a flagship, net zero carbon housing development in Edinburgh as the first homes are now under construction.

Located on Waterfront Avenue in Granton, ‘Plot D1’ will comprise over 70 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments alongside several commercial units. The apartments will be rented as social housing owned and managed by The City of Edinburgh Council or to households on low to middle incomes at a ‘mid-market’ rate that is lower than private rental rates.

The development will form a significant part of the ongoing £1.3bn regeneration of Granton’s waterfront and will set a roadmap for the future of net zero carbon housing delivery in Scotland.

This is the first of three confirmed pilot projects being delivered by The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD) – a programme providing an innovative approach to building affordable net zero carbon homes at scale.

The Scottish Government-backed programme has engaged a community of research and development experts to show how affordable net zero carbon homes can be created at scale across the six local authorities within the Edinburgh and Southeast City Deal Region.

Glasgow-based contractor and manufacturer CCG (Scotland) is leading construction of the ’Plot D1’ site on behalf of The City of Edinburgh Council alongside a design team of architects, engineers, and energy consultants.

The firm is leveraging the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) concept of offsite manufacturing on the pilot project. Standardised panels have been manufactured in CCG’s factory, transported to site, and positioned with the use of two cranes. This has resulted in a much quicker and efficient build, with one storey a week being completed on the Granton site.

This innovative combination of techniques will be evaluated by the EHD programme and will inform the development of a blueprint for procurement, quality standards, and cost that can be used across the sector to create affordable net zero communities.

The homes are designed to reach as close to net zero carbon as possible, with the aim of lowering energy demands, eliminating carbon emissions, and improving the living environment for residents. Renewable technologies such as a communal Air Source Heat Pump System and the use of solar PV panels will combine with the home’s enhanced building fabric to achieve the net zero standard of performance.

Granton affordable housing, Scottish Net Zero houses
image courtesy of The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD)

City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Cammy Day, said:

“The future of housebuilding is happening here in Edinburgh, where we are proud to lead the biggest and most innovative net zero carbon development in the country.

“The pilot itself is helping to create and support jobs in green industries like offsite sustainable manufacturing. This is exciting to see and something our wider regeneration of Granton will build on.

“What we are doing with our partners at the Granton Waterfront is truly trailblazing and will see the community become a test bed for future innovation, skills development and much needed employment opportunities – all while pioneering 75 new net zero carbon affordable homes.”

Calum Murray, CCG (Scotland) Director and EHD Board Member, said:

“CCG are pioneers for offsite manufacturing in Scotland. We operate from one of the UK’s most advanced facilities and use technological procedures to create homes in a controlled setting that are inherently designed to deliver an enhanced quality standard and minimise heat loss.

“For Granton D1, we will then integrate our entirely renewable energy system onsite. This uses several measures developed in partnership with Carbon Futures that combine with this improved standard of build to achieve our net zero target.

“The EHD programme is key to helping us to reach that target and this milestone at Granton D1 will be one of many along the way. It will be an exciting journey and one in which we are delighted to be playing our part alongside the Council and our trusted partners.”

Ainslie McLaughlin, Chair of the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme Project Board, said:

“The homes are quickly taking shape thanks to the offsite manufacture of key components. The productivity gains and speed of construction delivered by offsite MMC make it an important solution in the delivery of net zero carbon homes, especially to meet the demand for affordable housing. Scotland has both the capability and resources to scale this up, there is real opportunity here.”

The programme is delivered by multiple stakeholders including partners from The City of Edinburgh Council, Offsite Solutions Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Futures Trust, and Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) and is funded by the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme and The City of Edinburgh Council.

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme

The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD) programme was established to explore and develop a new business model for the manufacture of affordable homes based on collaborative procurement, whole life costing, development pipeline and greater standardisation. The homes would be designed and constructed to reach as close to zero emissions and net zero carbon as possible.

The partners involved in the project are the Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust, Offsite Solutions Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Edinburgh, The City of Edinburgh Council, and Built Environment – Smarter Transformation. EHD is also supported by a design team including, Anderson Bell + Christie (architecture), Oobe (landscape architecture), G3 (civil and structural engineering), Carbon Futures (energy consultancy) and Hawthorne Boyle (mechanical and electrical engineering).

The project is being developed in collaboration with all the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal (ESESCRD) partners which includes Fife, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh, and the Scottish Borders councils. This area has been selected as all the local authorities have already committed to the development of high-quality sustainable homes through the city region deal and the areas accounts for 24% of Scotland’s population meaning the project will also be able to test the scalability of any outcomes.

Built Environment – Smarter Transformation

Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BEST) is Scotland’s national innovation centre for the built environment and one of Scotland’s seven innovation centres supported by Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council and Scotland’s Enterprise Agencies.

Its mission is to accelerate the built environment’s transition to zero carbon, and does this through a range of innovation, R&D, knowledge exchange and service design programmes. Collaboration partners can access the innovation ecosystem as well as a range of flexible tools and support services including an extensive network of academic experts and the Innovation Factory; the UK’s first dedicated digital manufacturing, prototyping and future skills centre of excellence.

Built Environment – Smarter Transformation delivers impact across four interlinked programme areas; digital transformation, modern methods of construction, sustainability and retrofit, and is supercharging change that will help achieve the vision of a better built environment that delivers inclusive and sustainable economic, social, and environmental impact for Scotland and the planet.

he Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal comprises six local authorities: The City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council, East Lothian Council, Midlothian Council, West Lothian Council and Scottish Borders Council.

Previously on Edinburgh Architecture:

25 November 2022

New design guide to transform Scotland’s approach to affordable housing

A new catalogue of net zero carbon building designs could provide a significant boost to Scotland’s affordable housing sector, as part of a standardised approach for local authorities and housing associations to adopt across a range of future developments.

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project in Granton

The energy-efficient design and performance standards have been created by the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD) programme. The catalogue covers different housing typologies, such as flats, houses and cottage flats, which combine fabric-first energy efficient standards, renewable energy technology, and modern methods of construction – also known as offsite manufacturing.

Granton D1 – Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project Net Zero homes:
CCG - Granton D1 - Net Zero (credit TRACE)
image courtesy of TRACE

The £1m EHD programme – involving partners from the City of Edinburgh Council, Offsite Solutions Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Edinburgh, Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) and Scottish Futures Trust – is trialling the new approach for high-performing affordable homes.

The first pilot project of the EHD in Granton includes the creation of 75 net zero carbon ready one, two and three-bed flats being constructed by offsite construction specialists, CCG (Scotland), and is funded by the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme and the City of Edinburgh Council. The first homes designed using the performance standard are expected to be completed in the summer of 2023 and once occupied, will be monitored to test the approach in the guide.

With the new design and performance standards, the programme hopes to inform new build developments across the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal[1], providing a route map to net zero carbon homes that utilise offsite manufacturing. While the guide recommends common parts, including floorplans and zero gas heating systems, elements such as the external materials and appearance of homes can be customised to ensure buildings remain in keeping with local surroundings.

Ainslie McLaughin, Chair of the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme Project Board, said:

“Our ambition is to reduce the carbon footprint of the housing sector by designing new homes that ultimately consume less energy. Affordable housing plays a significant role among many communities and we want to create homes that are better suited for future generations. The flats we are delivering in Granton will be highly energy efficient and will also encourage residents to make low carbon lifestyle choices in relation to services like transport and travel.

“A key output of the pilot project is the evidence we will collect on the performance of the homes. Not only will it inform the next stages of building work here in Edinburgh and the City Deal but it could also influence future designs and procurement practices across all of Scotland’s affordable housing.”

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project House Type Axo EHD:
Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project house
image courtesy of Anderson Bell and Christie

Sam Hart, Head of Modern Methods of Construction at BE-ST, said: “We are facing a climate emergency and need to rapidly transform all aspects of the built environment to reduce its carbon footprint. Compared to carrying out the majority of works on site, offsite manufacturing is proven to be more accurate and more efficient, while also reducing waste. This programme is helping to provide local authorities and developers with information about what zero carbon looks like in practice, as well as building evidence to support offsite specialists and other supply chain partners.”

Nicola Jackson, Chair of Offsite Solutions Scotland, added: “With advancing building performance requirements and increasing levels of technology required to be integrated in new homes to improve operational performance, we can better assure this is delivered through manufacturing homes in a controlled, dry factory environment to improve build quality. Offsite Solutions Scotland members have come together as a network of leading offsite timber manufacturing companies to deliver pilot projects as part of the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator programme. This will support the development of a new delivery model for net zero affordable homes using offsite manufacturing.”

For more information, visit: https://www.be-st.build/accelerate-to-zero/modern-methods-of-construction/edinburgh-home-demonstrator/

Background:

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal comprises six local authorities: The City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council, East Lothian Council, Midlothian Council, West Lothian Council and Scottish Borders Council.

Comments on this Edinburgh Home Demonstrator project article are welcome.

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