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Council showcases homes for the future

Posted on 19 Feb 2021

Residents across the area can see for themselves how North Ayrshire Council is at the cutting edge of developing homes for the future.

The Council created two unique ‘Sustainable Demonstrator Homes’ at the Dickson Drive development in Irvine which showcase the latest design and technology while being kind to the environment.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it has not been possible for members of the public to view the homes in person – however, modern technology means those interested can still take a tour round the properties.

A virtual tour of the Sustainable Demonstrator home is available at: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=PaXZGLZ8fgS

These homes also set a benchmark for building sustainable properties at a local and national level, and help contribute to the Council’s commitment to climate change, following on from a Cabinet decision to declare a climate emergency.

The Demonstrator homes are part of the £3.7m Dickson Drive development - supported by a £1.4m Scottish Government Grant – which includes 24 two and three-bedroom homes and was completed earlier this year.

The two sustainable homes feature several sustainable features which will help to lower carbon emissions and reduce the impact of climate change.  These include: 

  • Solar PV panels and electric vehicle charging points
  • Triple-glazed windows which reduce heat loss by up to 50 per cent in comparison to double glazing
  • A full house ventilation system which helps to improve the quality of air and offsets pollutants from day-to-day products used within the home
  • A Smart Home LED lighting system allows full control of smart lightbulbs using a voice activated assistant or app, allowing the tenant to create different lighting levels which can reduce energy consumption
  • Smart window blinds which can be controlled with a finger swipe when using the smart home app or by voice command
  • High-efficiency extractor fans which are specifically designed to optimise the homes internal environment, reducing energy consumption and running costs
  • A heating and hot water system which uses inorganic, non-toxic, non-flammable materials to store and release thermal energy on demand.
  • The shower cubical is fitted with a timer which allows the tenant to monitor how long they have been in the shower for, while the bath incudes a waste water heat recovery system which recovers heat from the waste water that passes through the plughole and preheats the water supply to the shower.
  • Paint made using natural products which are non-toxic and friendly to the environment
  • Water butts gather rainwater from the roof and the gutters which can then be used as an external water supply for activities such as washing the car or watering the garden, reducing the amount of fresh water which is used from the mains supply.

Many of the features – such as triple glazing, solar panels and smart lighting - help reduce running costs, meaning residents can make significant savings on their bills, while also having a positive effect on the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

A £5m fund has been earmarked for investment in regeneration projects and sustainability measures to reduce fuel poverty in the 2021-22 housing budget.  This offers the opportunity for the Council to continue to invest in sustainable measures such as those in the demonstrator home, in both new developments and the existing housing stock.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Green New Deal & Sustainability, said: “We want to lead by example and have already set ourselves an ambitious target of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“These demonstrator homes show what is possible as we continue to develop and deliver our new Council homes across North Ayrshire.

“I would encourage people to go online and have a look around the homes to see how houses can be adapted and transformed to help benefit the environment.”