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The Flower House

Scotlland's Housing Expo


Built as one of the exemplar sustainable houses at Scotland’s Housing Expo, The Flower House demonstrates that housing can be joyous whilst being economical and beneficial for the environment.

The competition winning design developed by SHS BURRIDGE ARCHITECTS was for a 2-storey detached house on a prominent site facing The Village Green with an elegantly simple organisation and a bold identity. Living accommodation at first floor level giving the benefits of good daylight and panoramic views whilst making these spaces relatively warmer and the ground floor bedrooms more comfortably cooler. The house is entered through the two-storey sunspace, which acts as a buffer to the outside in winter and a flexible extension to the living room throughout the rest of the year. Through computer modeling, carried-out by Buro Happold, the design of the sunspace and specification of the glass were modified to optimise the benefits of solar gain and heat loss throughout the year.

The house is formed substantially of timber, with cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, wood-fibre insulation and timber board cladding, utilising the unique characteristic of timber as a carbon sink. In contrast to the average building product, which adds 1.1 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere, timber stores the equivalent of 0.9 tonnes of CO2 in every cubic metre. Using prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels allowed walls, floors and roof to be erected on site within 36 hours of the units arriving on site with precise factory tolerances that substantially improve the airtightness of the building. Most significantly though, the CLT panels alone capture more than 40 tonnes of CO2, even when allowing for the transport from Europe transport - a difference of 83 tonnes had the building used conventional building materials.

With triple-glazed windows, high levels of insulation and good air-tightness The Flower House is designed to have low energy requirements which, with solar-thermal panels and a wood-burning boiler, means that fuel costs are low as well as having a minimal impact on climate change and fossil fuel depletion.

SHE Site Developer: Highland Housing Alliance
Structural Engineer: W.A.Fairhurst & Partners
Environmental Modelling: Buro Happold
Contractor: O’Brien Homes

A consortium of agencies including The Highland Council, Scottish Executive, Communities Scotland, Highland & Islands Enterprise and the Forestry Commission supports Scotland’s Housing Expo

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