Gaia Architects

design quality and sustainability in rural housing

Sustainable Rural Housing

Client: Scottish Executive Central Research Unit

The Scottish House report (2001) contains a review of the emerging experience of building individual and small groups of houses with a view to sustainability, the use of traditional and new materials, and innovative design.

The study identifies that the development of high quality sustainable housing in rural Scotland could contribute substantial benefits to the environment in general, encourage innovation in the Scottish building industry, improve design quality, and provide genuine benefits to the rural environment and rural development process. Importantly it highlighted that, with the correct guidance, these principles have the potential to be applied to the development of affordable rural housing.


The report considers planning, building control, building systems, material & procurement policies and many other issues concluding with recommendations for possible changes to the planning and regulatory systems. It brings together information and exemplars gathered from a range of individuals and representative bodies including architects and planners, Scottish Homes, Historic Scotland, SNH, The Forestry Commission and manufacturers.


The report utilises case studies to illustrate leading-edge design solutions and use of innovative materials and features to deliver resource efficient, healthy buildings.


The study was commissioned from Gaia and SEDA (The Scottish Ecological Design Association) by the Scottish Executive Central Research Unit.


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