Scotland’s Largest Net Zero Housing Development Is Setting The Benchmark
Construction work has started at Scotland’s largest net zero housing development. Housing Industry Leaders investigates how the housing development will use advanced construction methods to create a sustainable community.

Work beginning at the £72 million Western Villages net zero project in Scotland represents a significant milestone for the City of Edinburgh Council and is part of the £1.3 billion Granton Waterfront regeneration project.

Consisting of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, the 444-home Western Villages include wheelchair-accessible ground-floor dwellings, available in a mix of social rent, mid-market rent and private sale tenures.

The Project Will Act As A Blueprint For Future Sustainable Developments

It is said that over the next ten years, 3,500 mixed-tenure homes and associated infrastructure will aim to create a sustainable coastal community.

Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, said: “We are so proud to lead the country’s biggest net zero housing development and to break ground today.

“With an ambitious target to become a net zero city by 2030, this first phase of Granton Waterfront will act as a blueprint for future sustainable development and help Scotland transition towards a greener economy.”

This housing is going to provide hundreds of affordable homes, right at the centre of what will be Edinburgh’s newest neighbourhood – offering a fantastically lively, active, and sustainable waterfront lifestyle for everyone who moves in.

Advanced Construction Methods Will Be Used To Support Reaching Net Zero

Achieving net zero carbon is a vital part of this project, to do this all homes will be constructed using advanced construction methods to improve thermal performance and reduce heat loss.

A zero emissions strategy and a low carbon heat system are being supported by £4.1 million of funding from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP).

Scotland’s LCITP is designed to create the conditions to attract commercial investment in innovative low carbon infrastructure projects. These could be replicated in other places in Scotland to maximise the potential in the low carbon sector. It also aims to contribute toward reducing the country’s GHG emissions.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the city and for how we build new homes and new neighbourhoods and I look forward to seeing it all take shape." Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener on the ‘Western Villages’ project.

The low carbon heat system will be delivered by an on-site energy centre that contains air-source heat pumps and renewable technologies such as solar PV panels.

Complemented by carbon offsetting measures, the approach to reducing GHG emissions has been developed by CCG in partnership with energy and sustainability consultancy, Carbon Futures.

Efficient Homes Must Remain Accessible To The Local Community

CCG Managing Director, David Wylie, said: “CCG’s contribution to the regeneration of Granton is significant with over 500 homes set to be under construction by the middle of this year.

“Western Villages, alongside a further 75 homes with the Council at Waterfront Avenue (known as Granton D1, the first pilot project of the Edinburgh Homes Demonstrator initiative), will play a major role in the creation of this new coastal community and also help shape our understanding and capabilities of net zero housing delivery in Edinburgh and across Scotland.”

We are very proud to be pioneering applied research and development into net zero housebuilding to support our economy’s green ambitions whilst also ensuring that high-quality, highly energy efficient homes remain accessible to our communities.

Managed by the council, the homes for rent are set for completion in 2024, whilst the private homes will be led by CCG Homes.