Community-owned passivhaus homes set for Dumfries and Galloway

CONSTRUCTION is underway on three new passivhaus-certified homes in the village of Closeburn, Dumfries and Galloway. 
The ‘family-sized’ homes, in the ownership of the local Development Trust – Nith Valley Leaf Trust (NVLT) – are thought to be the first community-owned Passivhaus-certified homes in Scotland. 
NVLT has worked on the project with the support of Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust (DGSCHT). The homes will provide accommodation to families with a connection to the local community and are being primarily funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund and the Scottish Land Funds, as well as a loan from the Ecology Building Society. 
The project, which has been three years in development, has been designed by John Gilbert Architects, with the homes being built by Stewart & Shields. The homes are due for completion by December this year. 
Mike Staples, chief executive of DGSCHT said, “After a huge amount hard work and dedication across the whole project team, it’s amazing to see the project on-site. The group have been clear in their objectives to support a shortfall in affordable accommodation for families and to address fuel poverty and it’s this determination that has retained the focus on attaining passive certification. We’re really excited to see community-led passihvaus come to fruition in Dumfries and Galloway and can’t wait to see tenants move in later this year.” 
Mike Steele, director of NVLT added, “We are very keen to keep our young families in Closeburn by providing affordable community owned and managed state-of-the-art energy-efficient homes. We think this is one big step towards achieving this aim. NVLT is a community run trust that’s now delivering projects like these modern homes for rent that the community wants and needs.”