There is a lack of good quality affordable housing across the UK especially in rural areas, and this effects the whole economy and vibrancy of a place. We work with individuals, landowners and community groups to provide rural housing across a range of locations.
The 'manse' was originally a small cottage in woodland with access across a burn. It was built during the C19th for the minister of Carie Church on Lochtayside. Over the years the bridge had disappeared and the building had fallen into disrepair, and was in need of extensive refurbishment. Before building work could begin, a new bridge had to be constructed, and this was built using two Douglas Fir trees which needed to be felled at the site.
Some unsympathetic extensions were demolished, bringing the building back to its original footprint of about 40 sq m. All new brick and masonry work, including a large chimney stack was carried out in lime mortar, and a substantial amount of materials were re-used including bricks, timber flooring and roof slates. The walls and roof were insulated with hemp and clay plastered.
The accommodation includes a gallery bedroom, bathroom and kitchen living space. A wood burning Heatranger Rayburn supplies all the energy for cooking, heating and domestic hot water. The southern elevation is externally clad in Larch and glazed to give solar gain and a sunny aspect to the living space. The project was part funded by the 'Rural Empty Properties Grant' from the Scottish Government for affordable rented housing.
South Byre Cottages
Two cottages were created from a converted byre, one with three bedrooms (80 sq m) and the other with two bedrooms (60 sq m). Both have high levels of insulation, bulk sheep's wool and wood fibre board in the walls and roof; and clay plastered walls. The existing stone walls were re-built in places and completely re-pointed in lime.
The cottages face south, so can take advantage of the sun as solar gain through the windows and sun porch, and for solar hot water. The small wood burning stoves in the living spaces, and the solar thermal panels provide all the heating and hot water required. The project was part funded by a Rural Empty Properties grant from the Scottish Government to provide affordable rural housing, and the tenants are very pleased with their accommodation.