Work starts on ‘first-of-a-kind’ net zero home in Scotland

Work starts on 'first-of-a-kind' net zero home in Scotland

 Derek Welsh (right) from the Garage Conversion Company and his building team on site

The Energy Training Academy has started work on the first net zero home of its kind in Scotland.

A one-bedroom bungalow, the unique property is housed within the 12,000 sq ft. training centre in Dalkeith and once finished it will comprise a kitchen, living room and bathroom, all kitted out with the newest technologies.

There will also be attic space for solar training, with solar panels on the front and back of the roof, while a garage space will store batteries, a hot water cylinder and boilers.

The project, which aims to help establish Scotland as a leader in sustainable living and workforce development, revolves around three primary objectives: upskilling engineers and tradespeople, addressing the retrofitting challenges in the current built environment and providing energy efficiency education for youngsters.

Construction of the home of the future has been made possible thanks to collaboration with the capital’s Garage Conversion Company, which is carrying out the build, and St Andrews Timber & Building Supplies, which is donating all the required materials.

State-of-the-art training will be delivered as a result of partnerships with renowned companies such as myenergi, Worcester Bosch, Ideal Heating, Samsung, Alpha, Poly Pipe and Connex.

Work starts on 'first-of-a-kind' net zero home in Scotland

“This has been an ambition of mine for years and it’s really exciting to see it start to become a reality,” said Mark Glasgow, founder of the Energy Training Academy.

“I firmly believe this initiative holds significant promise for Scotland’s sustainable future and will showcase Scotland as a shining example of sustainability and innovation. Once complete, the Net Zero Home will align perfectly with Scotland’s ambitious climate and educational goals.

“At the academy, we recognise the importance of a skilled workforce to achieve net-zero emissions.

“This initiative includes comprehensive training programmes for engineers and tradespeople and upskilling not only creates employment opportunities but also empowers individuals to contribute to a greener Scotland.

“A key element of the project will be addressing the complex challenges of retrofitting existing buildings to meet net-zero standards by demonstrating practical solutions. We’ll showcase how achievable net-zero or zero-bills homes can be and aim to inspire homeowners, businesses, and policymakers to take action and accelerate the transition to a sustainable built environment.

“Also, teaching youngsters about energy efficiency is crucial for a sustainable future and we’ll use the Net Zero Home to engage and educate the next generation on the importance of energy conservation.”

Once complete, visitors will be given guided tours of the futuristic home to see how the technology that drives sustainability will work and how it plays a part in energy reduction.

Work starts on 'first-of-a-kind' net zero home in Scotland

Senior pupils from Castlebrae Community Campus are helping with the build and having the youngsters involved has extra significance for Mark, himself a former pupil of Castlebrae High School in Niddrie.

“The training centre is not only the largest and most modern in Scotland but also operates as a social enterprise, contributing positively to the community,” added Mark.

“The schoolkids are here for work experience and will leave with transferable skills to put on a CV which will hopefully raise their self-esteem, build confidence in the workplace and ultimately lead to a career. It is going to be a priceless experience for them seeing a traditional build as well as what the home of the future will look like and all that entails.

“We need a new modern apprenticeship and that’s what we are trying to do here. I know how important it was to get a break in the trade and I want similar and more for my school and others in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

“Hopefully I can inspire them to go on from here and make a career for themselves. They know I am from Castlebrae High School and maybe they’ll look at what I’m doing now and take some inspiration. Who knows, maybe they could become a business leader in the future.”

Derek Welsh, owner of The Garage Conversion Company, said: “We are delighted to help bring Mark’s vision to life by building the home of the future. Having the pupils from Castlebrae on the tools is a fantastic way to help provide them with a pathway into employment.”

Ronnie Robinson, managing director of St Andrews Timber & Building Supplies said: “The net zero home is going to change people’s lives by helping with the transition into renewables and we’re proud to be playing a small part in that.”

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