Architecture

Schoolmasters: A smart and sustainable prefabricated Scottish home

Schoolmasters: A smart and sus...
Schoolmasters was completed in October 2014 (Photo: build different)
Schoolmasters was completed in October 2014 (Photo: build different)
View 31 Images
Schoolmasters was completed in October 2014 (Photo: build different)
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Schoolmasters was completed in October 2014 (Photo: build different)
The home is located near Aberdeen, Scotland (Photo: build different)
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The home is located near Aberdeen, Scotland (Photo: build different)
As the house was only completed in October 2014, it's still not clear exactly how much electricity will derive from renewable sources (Photo: build different)
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As the house was only completed in October 2014, it's still not clear exactly how much electricity will derive from renewable sources (Photo: build different)
The single-story Schoolmasters comprises a total of 195 sq m (2,098 sq ft) (Photo: build different)
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The single-story Schoolmasters comprises a total of 195 sq m (2,098 sq ft) (Photo: build different)
The home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, in addition to a lounge, kitchen, dining area, and office (Photo: build different)
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The home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, in addition to a lounge, kitchen, dining area, and office (Photo: build different)
Though connected to the grid for both water and electricity, most of the home's electricity comes via a 5.5 kW PV array (Photo: build different)
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Though connected to the grid for both water and electricity, most of the home's electricity comes via a 5.5 kW PV array (Photo: build different)
The home may prove able to run solely on renewable energy in time (Photo: build different)
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The home may prove able to run solely on renewable energy in time (Photo: build different)
Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
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Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
Surplus electricity is diverted to heat the domestic hot water, and a pellet-burning stove is also hooked-up provide hot water when in use (Photo: build different)
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Surplus electricity is diverted to heat the domestic hot water, and a pellet-burning stove is also hooked-up provide hot water when in use (Photo: build different)
Stuart Duncan, who designed the home, told Gizmag that it follows Passivhaus building principles, but is not accredited, as he felt that the standard more or less dictates the shape of the house (Photo: build different)
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Stuart Duncan, who designed the home, told Gizmag that it follows Passivhaus building principles, but is not accredited, as he felt that the standard more or less dictates the shape of the house (Photo: build different)
"Its always difficult to estimate, but the EPC [Energy Performance Certificate] predicts that the total energy requirement is 6,094 kWh," Duncan told Gizmag (Photo: build different)
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"Its always difficult to estimate, but the EPC [Energy Performance Certificate] predicts that the total energy requirement is 6,094 kWh," Duncan told Gizmag (Photo: build different)
The kitchen and dining areas (Photo: build different)
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The kitchen and dining areas (Photo: build different)
The kitchen and dining areas Photo: build different)
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The kitchen and dining areas Photo: build different)
The kitchen and dining areas (Photo: build different)
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The kitchen and dining areas (Photo: build different)
Surplus electricity from the PV is diverted to heat the domestic hot water (Photo: build different)
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Surplus electricity from the PV is diverted to heat the domestic hot water (Photo: build different)
Besides a small underfloor heater for the bathroom, the home maintains a comfortable temperature without heating throughout the summer (Photo: build different)
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Besides a small underfloor heater for the bathroom, the home maintains a comfortable temperature without heating throughout the summer (Photo: build different)
Shot of the bathroom (Photo: build different)
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Shot of the bathroom (Photo: build different)
Schoolmasters was completed in October 2014 (Photo: build different)
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Schoolmasters was completed in October 2014 (Photo: build different)
The home is located near Aberdeen, Scotland (Photo: build different)
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The home is located near Aberdeen, Scotland (Photo: build different)
The single-story Schoolmasters comprises a total of 195 sq m (2,098 sq ft) (Photo: build different)
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The single-story Schoolmasters comprises a total of 195 sq m (2,098 sq ft) (Photo: build different)
Such things as lighting and heating can be controlled by smartphone or internet-connected tablet from afar (Photo: build different)
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Such things as lighting and heating can be controlled by smartphone or internet-connected tablet from afar (Photo: build different)
Stuart Duncan, who designed the home, told Gizmag that it follows Passivhaus building principles, but is not accredited, as he felt that the standard more or less dictates the shape of the house (Photo: build different)
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Stuart Duncan, who designed the home, told Gizmag that it follows Passivhaus building principles, but is not accredited, as he felt that the standard more or less dictates the shape of the house (Photo: build different)
The prefabricated home was built over 4 months in Sussex, England, including all fittings (Photo: build different)
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The prefabricated home was built over 4 months in Sussex, England, including all fittings (Photo: build different)
Once complete, the home was disassembled and transported to Scotland in four trucks (Photo: build different)
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Once complete, the home was disassembled and transported to Scotland in four trucks (Photo: build different)
Nobody lives in the home at the moment, but it is being heated to test its performance (Photo: build different)
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Nobody lives in the home at the moment, but it is being heated to test its performance (Photo: build different)
The home may prove able to run solely on renewable energy in time (Photo: build different)
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The home may prove able to run solely on renewable energy in time (Photo: build different)
Though connected to the grid for both water and electricity, most of the home's electricity comes via a 5.5 kW PV array (Photo: build different)
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Though connected to the grid for both water and electricity, most of the home's electricity comes via a 5.5 kW PV array (Photo: build different)
Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
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Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
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Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
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Interior shot of the home (Photo: build different)
Shot of the office area (Photo: build different)
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Shot of the office area (Photo: build different)
View gallery - 31 images

UK-based sustainable construction firm build different recently completed work on an energy-efficient prefabricated home located near Aberdeen, Scotland. Dubbed Schoolmasters, it follows Passivhaus principles and draws most of its required energy from renewable sources. Such things as lighting and heating can also be monitored and controlled with a smartphone or tablet.

The single-story Schoolmasters comprises a total floorspace of 195 sq m (2,098 sq ft), and features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, in addition to a lounge, kitchen, dining area, and office. Stuart Duncan, who designed the home, told Gizmag that it follows Passivhaus building principles, but that he didn't seek certification as he wanted more flexibility regarding its design.

Though connected to both the electric grid and water mains, much of the home's required electricity comes from a roof-based 5.5 kW PV array. As Schoolmasters was only completed in October 2014, it's still not clear exactly how well the home will perform year-round, nor what proportion of its electricity will derive from renewable sources, though it may well end up running solely from solar power.

The home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, in addition to a lounge, kitchen, dining area, and office (Photo: build different)
The home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, in addition to a lounge, kitchen, dining area, and office (Photo: build different)

"Its always difficult to estimate but the EPC [Energy Performance Certificate] predicts that the total energy requirement is 6,094 kWh," Duncan told Gizmag. "The solar PV should produce 4,400 kWh. "The house has not been lived in, but is being heated etc. At the moment the solar meter is around 200 units less than the mains electric meter. Its entirely possible that over a year they should be about the same. We will monitor this."

Any surplus electricity from the roof-based PV array is diverted to heat the domestic hot water, and a pellet-burning stove is also hooked-up to provide hot water when in use. Duncan told Gizmag that this is only needed in winter, and besides a small underfloor heater for the bathroom, the home maintains a comfortable temperature without heating throughout much of the year. "All summer there is no heat requirement, the triple glazing actually has a special solar control coating that prevents overheating and it really works," added Duncan.

The home is located near Aberdeen, Scotland (Photo: build different)
The home is located near Aberdeen, Scotland (Photo: build different)

The atrium sports a remotely-operated window that opens if additional ventilation is required, and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system draws in fresh air from outside and ensures ventilation is kept at the correct level (always a concern in any home with a near-airtight envelope).

Like El Refugio Inteligente, Schoolmasters can also be controlled from inside or afar using the IFTT service via smartphone or internet-connected tablet. Duncan is currently using an iPad Mini to both control and monitor the external lighting, sockets, showers, underfloor heating (for the bathroom), pellet stove, and Philips Hue lighting.

The prefabricated home was built over 4 months in Sussex, England, including all fittings, before being disassembled and transported to Scotland in four trucks. The timelapse video below shows it being constructed.

Sources: build different, Schoolmasters

schoolmasters timelapse

View gallery - 31 images
3 comments
Darmyman
Why is it the cost of building these energy efficient homes are never disclosed. I have seen 4 different stories from as many sources this week so far on these super homes but never a cost to build or ROI numbers.
Mark A
Well I lived and worked in Aberdeen for 6 months, November through April. Great place to experience but I don't recall seeing the sun to often. Going back again soon to get some sticky toffee pudding.
Germano Pecoraro Designer
The certification Passihaus (the original wording is in German) provides precise criteria for certification. That said, it strikes me instead rationality of the design of open space used as a day area: the kitchen-cooking area that serves as a bridge between the lounge area and dining area. Smart also the use of white and some colored panels.