Back to News

First houses in Orkney to achieve Silver Active Sustainability Label

17 March 2015

We have just completed 4 affordable houses at Orphir for Orkney Housing Association. These are the first houses in Orkney to achieve the Silver Active Sustainability Label as defined in the Scottish Building Standards.

Here is how we did it.

The Silver Standard requirements (“Aspects”) are:

Aspect 1: CO2 emissions to be 21.4% lower than normally required by Building Standards. This was achieved using better insulation standards, high performance windows and doors, efficient heating system, and WWHR (waste water heat recovery) at the showers.

Aspect 2: Maximum energy demand for houses to be no greater than 40kWh/sq.m.

Aspect 3: At least 5% of hot water annual energy to be from solar assist or grey water heat recovery. To achieve this required the WWHR unit at the showers. We used the BRE calculator to demonstrate the energy reduction.

Aspect 4: Water use efficiency:
Low flush volume WCs 4.5 litres max.
WHB flow rates 6 litres per minute max.
Showers 8 litres per minute max.
Each house has an external water butt for rainwater harvesting with 200 litre capacity.

Aspect 5: Quick Start Guide for occupants.

Aspect 6: Flexibility & adaptability: Space for home office desk and associated electrical points (also required by Housing for Varying Needs).

Aspect 7: Well-being and security:
Enhanced noise reduction between rooms (heavier plasterboard / extra layer of plasterboard)
Enhanced natural daylighting
13amp spur for security alarm

Aspect 8: Internal space for recycling bins.

We achieved “Silver Active” standard by also using air source heat pumps as a renewable heating source.