ECOHOUSE

The ECOHOUSE at West Lothian College is the development of two semi-detached houses on campus. Funded by £493,436 from West Lothian Council’s Place Based Funding allocation from the Scottish Government, the construction of these houses will be complete by summer 2023.

Training delivered in these houses will help meet the ever-changing needs of industry sectors that aim to meet the challenges of reaching a net zero carbon economy. It will also support adaptable, independent living.

The ECOHOUSE will be a state-of-the-art training facility that supports the development of skills, knowledge and practical experience in sustainable construction as well as efficient and effective renewable energies – all underpinned by current and new technologies.

The ECOHOUSE will:

  • Help create high value green jobs
  • Upskill the current workforce in sustainable construction skills and create a future pipeline of skilled workers
  • Help put West Lothian at the heart of sustainable development
  • Support the drive for a net zero carbon economy
  • Develop skills in smart technologies for sustainable independent living at home.

The ECOHOUSE is unique in Scotland. It is the first development to have two buildings – one completed to Passive House standard with certified air tightness and thermal properties, the other a shell house for developing the high-level practical skills in a real-life working environment required to achieve Passive House standards.

The Passive House will have a living room, kitchen, bedroom and shower room. It will have triple glazing, solar panels, an air source heat pump, heat recovery ventilation, electric car charging and a wind turbine on the roof. Training and upskilling opportunities delivered in the Passive House will include:

  • Air tightness testing
  • Thermal imaging
  • MHVR (heat recovery ventilation) testing
  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) analysis
  • PV (devices that convert sunlight into electrical energy) installation and analysis
  • Solar thermal installations
  • Electric vehicle maintenance.

The shell house will be the same size as the Passive House but with no interior fittings and no stud partitioning or plaster board on walls or ceilings. Designed to deliver training in sustainable construction and test the integrity of the work on completion, the shell house will have the flexibility to build and adapt internal structures to meet the changing needs of the industry and to test different concepts in construction.

Training and upskilling opportunities delivered in the shell house will include:

  • Installation, testing and commissioning of air source heat pumps
  • PV panel installations
  • Solar thermal installations
  • Alternative forms of internal heating installations
  • EPC calculations
  • Air tightness testing and monitoring
  • External and internal wall insulation.

Partners

West Lothian College is working with a wide range of partners in the design, development and delivery of the ECOHOUSE. These include West Lothian Council, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot Watt University, Built Environment–Smarter Transformation (formerly the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre), industry and housing associations.

The ECOHOUSE is an exciting new development in West Lothian and the college would welcome further partners and sponsors.

For more information, contact Graham Clark, ECOHOUSE Project Director, West Lothian College at gclark@west-lothian.ac.uk.