How Edinburgh Uses Prefab Timber for Net-Zero Homes

The Greendykes North Masterplan development is transforming affordable housing in Scotland

Tue 16 May 23


Edinburgh’s Greendykes has received the green light for an affordable housing development in a significant development for housing in the city. The project is set to use Donaldson Timber Systems’ innovative Alpha Open Panel Timber System, promising cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency.

“Revitalising Greendykes: An Ambitious Masterplan”

Part of the larger Greendykes North Masterplan, the Greendykes K & L development will breathe new life into the area. Led by The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD), the project is the second of three pilot schemes slated to draw insights from the ongoing pilot in Granton.

The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator seeks to deliver affordable housing with zero emissions and using modern construction techniques – including offsite prefabricated construction. Footage courtesy of @be_stbuild

Donaldson Timber Systems’ Alpha Open Panel Timber System will be a linchpin in the construction process. Donaldson Timber Systems is the UK’s leading offsite timber systems manufacturer, specialising in supplying and constructing sustainable, state-of-the-art open and closed panel timber frames. Its highly insulated timber frame design is a prime choice for building energy-efficient, net-zero carbon homes.

Donaldson Timber Systems is trialing two separate timber systems across the pilots – Delta in Stage 1 and Alpha in Stage 2. (Photo credit: Edinburgh Home Demonstrator)

Having previously participated in the inaugural pilot in Granton, Donaldson Timber Systems now seizes another opportunity with this project to further its mission of creating scalable, net-zero affordable housing.

John Smith, Technical Director at Donaldson Timber Systems, underscored the unique learning opportunity. He stated, “The approach of one site, one contractor, and two different timber systems gives us the ability to measure both… which will teach us a great deal about how best to deliver future net zero carbon housing at scale.”

“Sustainability and Affordability: The Future of Housing”

The project’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond construction. Using timber, a renewable resource, and focusing on energy-efficient designs, the homes will significantly reduce their carbon footprint and offer future residents potential energy cost savings.

The Greendykes North Masterplan which includes provisions for up to 150 net-zero affordable houses. (Image credit: Edinburgh Home Demonstrator)

Nicola Jackson, Net Zero Projects Lead at Robertson Group, underscored the project’s importance in shaping sustainable housing’s future. She stated, “This project is significant for bringing together two members of the industry to develop and optimise the future model of net zero carbon house types.”

Although construction’s official start date is pending, the Greendykes K & L project is already creating a buzz. It fuses affordable housing with sustainable practices, signalling a new era for timber technology in sustainable housing globally. Stay tuned – the future of housing is green.


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