18 November 2021

Loreburn Housing Association

Leading the way with Scotland Excel's new build residential framework

Following the climate emergency summit COP26 in Glasgow, most businesses in Scotland will be thinking about what they need to do to become ‘greener’ and reduce their carbon footprint.

However, Scotland Excel associate member - Loreburn Housing Association, is well ahead with its ‘greenness’ and a goal to be recognised as the best Housing Association in Scotland.

Loreburn Housing Association was established in 1982 and is a registered charity.  It owns and manages over 2,750 properties across Dumfries & Galloway, offering a wide variety of high-quality accommodation to suit a range of needs. 

It was the first housing association to use the Scotland Excel New Build Framework after awarding two major projects to Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd - a £4.8 million project to build 27 homes in Annan, which includes 7 fully certified Passivhaus units, and a £14.8m project to build 75 homes in Dumfries.

Gary Alison, Director of Property and Development Loreburn Housing Association said:

“Loreburn provides a range of house types throughout Dumfries and Galloway, including those suitable for general housing needs, supported living and ones for later life as well. Loreburn is also starting to develop “extra care” properties that will allow people to live in their homes longer.

“We are committed to providing homes where taking care of the environment is high on our list of priorities. Going forward we want to make building choices which are moving towards our ultimate goal. This is to build ‘homes for life’ which mean they can be readily adapted for people who live in them throughout all the stages of their lives.”

Graham Robertson, Head of Development at Loreburn adds:

“There is no doubt that the way housing is being built is changing rapidly and we were proud to be the first housing association to use the Scotland Excel New Build Framework after awarding two major projects to Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd for homes in Annan and Dumfries.

“The projects we have procured via the Framework have led to main contractor and sub-contracting work for local SME’s as well as supporting a number of apprenticeship opportunities which will ensure a strong skill base is maintained within Dumfries & Galloway for these and future projects”.

Loreburn has taken up the climate initiative by commissioning homes to be built to the most energy efficient standard of Passivhaus, with an initial 4 units built on a former gap site in Dumfries, 7 Passivhaus units under construction in Annan and a further 150 units in the pipeline.

The brand new three-bedroom homes have superior air quality and exceptionally low running costs and are built to fully certified Passivhaus standard. Passivhaus will be Loreburn’s default standard of build in the coming years.

The Loreburn team is so confident about the potential health benefits of living in such a house that they have asked the residents to share their experiences regularly.

It is said that Passivhaus can bring health and wellbeing benefits especially for those with respiratory illnesses including asthma and COPD. There is particular interest in doing follow up research with people whose health has improved and Loreburn say that two people living in this type of housing have already reported an improvement in their medical conditions.

Since it was launched more than a decade ago, Scotland Excel, the national centre of procurement expertise for local government, has been implementing mitigations and embedding environmental benefits within their contracts to help councils and other public sector bodies tackle climate change.

The non-profit procurement service, which was founded in 2008, serves all 32 of Scotland's local authorities and more than 100 members from across the public and third sector. It is now working with members on new sustainable procurement solutions that will benefit all.

Scotland Excel’s latest campaign, named Supporting Scotland’s Green Recovery, aims to help get Scotland moving again after the pandemic, but in the greenest and most sustainable way possible. The organisation is focused on the environmental impact of how its contracts operate and coming up with continuous ways of improving them.

Hugh Carr is the Head of Strategic Procurement at Scotland Excel.  He points out that as Scotland builds a green recovery, the country’s councils, housing associations and those who work with them are being asked to do even more to help in the drive towards Net-Zero.

He said:

“The contracts we have been putting in place have been part of the local government sector’s climate response journey. Over time, we’ve improved and refined our frameworks. Now we are stepping up to do even more to support councils and housing associations in the green recovery and in their climate emergency responses.”

Image courtesy of Loreburn Housing Association