Canadian High Commissioner marks energy-efficient homes deal

The Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, James R Wright marked a deal with Tenants First Housing Co-operative for energy-efficient Canadian timber homes. The High Commissioner was in Aberdeen to attend All Energy 09, Britain’s largest renewables technology exhibition.

The first four Canadian timber homes are to be built on two sites in the Mastrick and Kincorth areas of Aberdeen, with funding from Aberdeen City Council. Site work started last month (April 2009) with the homes due for delivery from Canada in June.

James R. Wright, Canadian High Commissioner to UK (second left) with Sandy Murray, Chief Executive, Tenants First Housing Co-operative and Alastair Scott-Kiddie, Technical Director, Fairhurst Engineers (right).

Tenants First believe the Super E® homes offer a much enhanced performance compared to standard UK timber-frame homes. The design focuses on air tightness, insulation and incorporates a whole-house ventilation system that makes best use of heat recovery.

Tenants First – who recently embarked on a three-year ‘knowledge transfer partnership’ programme with Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow to develop high-quality, carbon-neutral housing – has an established reputation for innovation in its affordable housing projects.

The High Commissioner, James R Wright, commented:
“The Super E system is tried and tested in Canada, where our winters are much more severe than in the UK and high thermal performance is vital for new homes.

“The technology has been developed over a number of years and is successfully exported throughout the world. I hope that this business model can prove successful for Tenants First and the Scottish market.”

James R. Wright, Canadian High Commissioner to UK (second left) with Sandy Murray, Chief Executive, Tenants First Housing Co-operative (left). Others from the design team are (left to right)  Alastair Scott-Kiddie, Technical Director, Fairhurst Engineers; Euan Barr, Development Manager, Tenants First Housing Co-operative; Martin van der Lee, Vice-Chair, Tenants First Housing Co-operative; John Buchan, Partner, MGA Architects and Jim Young, Construction Director, CHAP Construction.

Martin van der Lee, Vice-chair of Tenants First, commented:
“This project continues Tenants First’s international research into innovative house construction systems. The aim is to provide the highest standards of quality and affordability for our members.

“We identified this Canadian system, which we believe will help to significantly develop our knowledge and construction experience. A key element will be the on-site training from the Super E technicians who will travel here from Canada.”

The houses are being built at two locations in Aberdeen, each with two of the new homes – Kingsford Road in the Mastrick area of Aberdeen and Cairngorm Gardens in the Kincorth area.

Tenants First Housing Co-operative is Britain’s largest housing co-operative. It has more than 1,300 properties in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and parts of Angus. Tenants First is a non-profit making organisation owned and run by its members for the benefit of members.

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