TWIN searches are underway to find the best houses in Scotland.
The Saltire Society has launched its annual Housing Design Awards at the same time as industry body Homes for Scotland reveals the contenders that survived the first cut in its scheme.
Broadcaster and journalist Lesley Riddoch will be the Saltires’ guest in the chair for 2013, following in the footsteps of architects Dick Cannon, John McAslan and Malcolm Fraser. She will lead the panel of industry leaders in their assessment of projects from all over the country.
The role will also allow Riddoch to award the society’s prestigious Saltire Medal to her favourite scheme from the 2013 submissions. Last year’s winner was Dualchas Architects. Jude Barber, director of Collective Architecture, has taken on the convenership of the awards to succeed Jane Paterson, who remains on the judging panel.
Previous winners have ranged from single homes in the remotest areas of the Highlands to multi-unit developments in cities.
Meanwhile, another record number of entries has been whittled down to a shortlist for Homes for Scotland’s 2013 awards. Categories focus on the four ‘Ps’ of people, process, product and partnership.
Up for grabs are awards for Best Employer, Young Achiever (under 35), Outstanding Achievement and Best Partnership in Planning. Winners will be announced at the annual lunch in Edinburgh next month when deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon will be the main speaker.
An electronic voting system will be used by the audience to decide which company earns the accolade of Home Builder of the Year.
Homes for Scotland chief executive Philip Hogg said: “Whilst the housing sector is still striving for a meaningful recovery, it is encouraging to have received such a volume of quality submissions for this year’s awards. These entries demonstrate that there remains a wealth of both stand-out companies and individuals who are committed to and capable of effecting change.”