A Scottish Net Zero Home To Hang Your Kilt In

Nestled in the hills of  Castle Douglas, Scotland, is a home worthy of its green surroundings–the Houl, a net-zero structure built with energy-efficiency and eco-friendliness in mind every step of the way.

The home (which comes to us via Ecofriend) was designed by Simon Winstanley Architects to make best use of the naturally concave surrounding hillside, which helps to afford shelter from strong prevailing winds. The dwelling also incorporates two roofs at different levels, which allows the higher one to shelter the main living quarters, while the lower roof streams in sunlight into the center of the home.

Houl

image via Simon Winstanley Architects

The house faces principally west, offering spectacular views of the Ken River valley and the Rhinns of Kells hills. It was intended to be a contemporary, single storey ʻlong houseʼ recessed into the landscape, sustainable in its construction, and low in energy consumption.

The house achieves its net zero profile with the high levels of insulation typical of passive house building, an air source heat exchanger matched up with a ‘whole house heat recovery ventilation systemʼ, and home-grown electricity, courtesy of a wind turbine.

Houl2

image via Simon Winstanley Architects

Lightweight but highly insulated steel and timber frame construction form the bones of this house, while cedar weatherboarding (allowed to weather to a natural silver grey color) forms the skin. Windows and external doors are triple glazed and high performance.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.