Highland Housing Fair Winners Announced

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Inverness will see a community full of innovative and environmentally friendly homes, plans unveiled last night revealed.

They were showcased at a ceremony at the Scottish Natural Heritage building – Great Glen House – in Inverness, where the 25 winners of the Highland Housing Fair architectural competition were announced. The winning designs will form a community of more than 50 homes, set to be built on the Braes of Balvonie site, on the outskirts of the Highland capital. The homes, which are a mixture of affordable housing, family homes, terraces and apartments, will be built on 27 plots.

Among the winning designs, five were from the Highland area. Trevor Black, from Invergordon, was “delighted” one of his had been chosen. He said it had taken months to complete and involved a team of people. He said: “A lot of it hinged around solar heating and making the house as energy efficient as possible. Many of the rooms are south facing. We were trying to make the house as affordable as housing standards allow.” Councillor Ian Ross, who chairs the fair’s steering group and chaired the competition judging panel said choosing the winning designs out of 80 entries was very difficult. He said: “The successful entrants represent a real cross-section of the architectural profession in Scotland, from small town sole practitioners to members of large, award-winning city-based practices. “I am confident that in the winning designs we have a blueprint for a hugely exciting community in the Highland capital that will inform and inspire future sustainable housing development much further afield.”

The Highland Housing Fair, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, was set up to raise the bar in innovative and environmentally friendly housing design. The fair will culminate in 2009 when the finished homes will form the centre-piece of a month-long exhibition, expected to attract thousands of visitors. After the event the homes will be sold or rented.

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