Homes Get Green Light; This Scottish Ecobuilder Works Hard to Make Sure Saving Energy Is Good for the Planet and It Won't Cost You a Fortune

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), August 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

Homes Get Green Light; This Scottish Ecobuilder Works Hard to Make Sure Saving Energy Is Good for the Planet and It Won't Cost You a Fortune


Byline: By KAREN STEWART

More The Good Life than To The Manor Born, going green is typically cheap, cheerful and kitch.

But one Scots builder is out to prove that green living can be stylish and swish - and, what's more, part of the norm.

Working on four environmentally friendly homes in Dunoon, Pol Stewart of Ballyconnelly Developments hopes he'll soon be able to extend his eco-build prototype across the nation.

And if his efforts so far are anything to go by, he looks set to change the way people think for good.

Engineer Pol, 40, said: "My aim is to make green living normal.

"To do that, homes have to cost the same as a normal house. A lot of people are put off because they think it's very expensive to do but it can be done.

"I used to work in the oil industry and lived in Norway for three years. I was really impressed with their style of living and the houses were fantastic.

"People who live there and in other Scandinavian countries have rainy, dark, windy conditions - exactly the same as us. But what they do well is make the most of the daylight - maximizing it as much as possible and letting natural, freeflowing light flood their homes.

"We've built homes in Dunoon using the same principles of Scandinavian design - plenty of light, bright colours and lots of natural, oiled wood. And of course all the added ecological advantages of the build really make them stand out from the crowd."

With many environmental features, Pol's Enkelt Living range of homes are eco to the very core - with the development set to become the first carbon neutral one in Scotland.

Using advanced technology like heat recovery units, thermal heat barriers, insulated panels, smart electricity meters and even building blocks made out of fuel ash, every part of the build has been given a green makeover. An impressive 95 per cent of materials used in the project have been made from recycled products, or taken from forests managed by the Forest Stewardship Council.

"And with plans to off-set the carbon footprint created by the construction process by planting tress, Pol's homes could well be the shape of things to come.

He said: "With this style of house, you shouldn't need additional heating and although we've fitted underfloor heating into these houses, it will probably only ever be used once or twice a year.

"Our heat recovery units take heat out of hot rooms like kitchens and bathrooms and mix it with fresh air before blowing it back into the bedrooms. Most things generate a certain amount of heat - turning on the oven and running a bath all use energy.

"Even the average body generates 6Kw of energy. There's no denying we've raised the bar on normal building regulations here and the result is super-efficient homes which will benefit the owners for years - but without the hefty price. …

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