Using the Val-U-Therm building system from Scotframe for a home in Dess near Aboyne, a Banchory based building company has won a prestigious energy efficiency award.
Alan Buchan Contractors Ltd has scooped a Master Builder of the Year Award, taking the Scotland Energy Efficiency prize. The Master Builder of the Year Awards, a nationwide search by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) to find the best builders in the UK, is unique. Nominations must come from a satisfied client, and builders are judged on their technical ability together with their customer service skills.
The company was chosen by the region’s judges to win the Energy Efficiency prize and will now go through to compete in the national finals.
For the main fabric and form of the building, Iain and his architects Ian MacDonald of Aboyne, chose Scotframe Timber Engineering Ltd of Inverurie (just a short distance from Aboyne) to supply the timber frame package. This was a Val-U-Therm closed panel, factory insulated, high thermal performance system which more than met their energy efficiency requirements and came as entire package including windows, doors, facings and finishings, etc.
The natural slate covered pitches on various elements of the roof contrast and blend the red of the sheeting and the stone, and link through to the natural slate entrances and stonechip driveway.
Larch timber cladding, external beams and supports are all sourced from the surrounding and other local woodland, much of this was milled and manufactured on site. The stonework was all sourced from a redundant quarry within the surrounding woodland, any shaping was done with the use of hammers as a traditional dry-stone dyke would have been built.
The internal timber features were completely sourced from Douglas fir from the surrounding woodland, continuing the external timber design to the inside.
The house is heated by an air source heat pump, added heat if required comes from additional wood burning stoves fuelled from the sawmilling and manufacturing residue of the attached business and surrounding woodland. The position and layout of the house are located not only to settle into the surrounding landscape but to also maximise the solar gain achieved with large elements of roof glazing. Highly insulated timber frame and Nordan N-Tech windows give U values well below 0.9 Wm2K providing an highly efficient thermal envelope.
Sympathetic landscaping compliments the house, low level dykes were built from the leftover stone from the quarried material and grass was sown to blend the garden into the surrounding forest floor. All of the surrounding woodland is currently UKWAS, (UK Woodland Assurance Scheme) certified which means it is managed to exacting audited and sustainable standards.
The overall mix of timber, stone, glass and tin has blended well thanks to the contractors working to make all the elements of the build marry together naturally without compromising on the quality of the workmanship.
These qualities extend to the inside of the build, where the oak finishes compliment that of the Douglas fir frame and the use of natural light and tones, modern and traditional style and well positioned glazing, helps bring the outside in.
The craftsmanship extends to the finish with Iain Ballantyne making much of the furniture and ornaments to make this house a home.