Ultra-low-energy perspectives for regional Scottish dwellings

Neil Burford, Alexander Pearson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This article defines the design envelope for achieving regional solutions to very low-energy housing in Scotland. It explores the historical development of low-energy housing in Europe and North America following the simultaneous emergence of new technologies and housing forms. It discusses the different terms used and the current approaches being adopted in the UK and Europe from the scale of technologies, individual houses to housing communities and regional solutions. The study goes on to investigate the design constraints on developing alternative forms of ultra-low energy housing which respond appropriately to the regional Scottish context in terms of people, climate and landscape. It quantifies the effects of varying key architectural parameters on the energy performance of prototype house typologies across different climate regions in Scotland. This parametric study uses the Passive House Planning Package to establish three typological houses that are manipulated in terms of plan orientation, the ratio of area of glazing to area of external envelope, roof form and roof pitch. These criteria are used to understand in a better manner how building form, site positioning and fenestration are affected by climatic variation across different Scottish climatic regions. Furthermore, the study quantifies the extent to which these important architectural criteria can be manipulated while still satisfying the requirements of very-low-energy space heat demand and micro-renewable energy generation. This is used to establish the extent of the design boundary conditions within which more qualitative, nuanced and regionally responsive architectural solutions to Scottish housing can be developed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)221-250
    Number of pages30
    JournalIntelligent Buildings International
    Issue number4
    Early online date2 Sept 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Passivhaus
    • Regional Housing
    • Sustainable Communities
    • Ultra-Low Energy
    • Zero-carbon


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