Council’s first Passivhaus homes could welcome tenants in the autumn

Monday April 10th 2023


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Six new flats in a courtyard behind Buccleuch Street in Dalkeith, part of the most ambitious energy-efficient council housing programme in Scotland, are expected to welcome their new council tenants in the autumn.

The one and two bedroom apartments are among 182 ‘green’ Midlothian Council homes of the future. All of them will meet the demanding ‘Passivhaus’ building standard.

The Buccleuch Street project also includes three energy-efficient studios and a two-bedroom flat above shops in a historic building opposite the library and dating back to the 1700s. The retail units will be refurbished and the original shop fronts retained.

Councillor Stuart McKenzie, the Cabinet member for housing said: “These ten flats in total are going to be great homes for folk right in the centre of historic Dalkeith, but more than that this is a super energy efficient project and a great chance for the council to learn about building houses for the future.”

Councillor McKenzie continued: “Everyone knows that there is a housing shortage in the UK with young people priced out the market, high rent costs and supply chain shortages leading to delays. Against that backdrop it is all the more important that this council continues to deliver high-quality homes.”

Building homes to this green energy standard is a key element of Midlothian Council’s route to net zero by 2030.

Contractor Morris & Spottiswood is building the Buccleuch Street project.

Morris & Spottiswood’s Housing Director Brian Pettigrew said: “We are delighted to deliver Midlothian Council’s first ever Passivhaus project and contribute to their December 2019 Climate Change Motion, which detailed their goal of making the council’s activities net zero carbon by 2030.

“Not only does this support the council’s net carbon agenda, it aligns with our own carbon reduction approach and plan, a core strategic priority for the business. Key to Morris & Spottiswood’s net zero goal is supporting our clients through a sustainable offering, which assists in the delivery of sustainable, energy efficient homes.

“The Buccleuch Street project is expected to lead to energy savings of up to 90% compared to typical building stock. It is vital that partners in the construction industry, work together to collectively meet national and global climate targets – sustainability is a huge arena, touching on just about everything we do.”

Cllr McKenzie added: “It’s quite a responsibility building homes that will last into the next hundred years. I’m confident that Midlothian Council has pulled this off. This project was complicated to manage and my thanks go out to Morris & Spottiswood and all Midlothian council staff who were involved. These will make great homes and it will be nice to welcome new neighbours when they are complete.”

A further 46 homes with extra care are to be built at Polton Street, Bonnyrigg; 20 homes are planned at Burnbrae in Bonnyrigg; 20 more Passivhaus homes will be on Bonnyrigg High Street and further work will begin on 90 homes on the site of the former Newbattle High School in Easthouses. All of these homes will be council homes for social rent.

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