Housing Development, Forfar

Housing Development, Forfar

Client: Angus Housing Association/Scotia Homes
Type of works: supply of Dimplex solar panels and electric heating.

An old hospital site in Forfar has been turned into a private and social housing development with a number of properties featuring Dimplex solar panels and electric heating – not only to comply with Scottish Building Regulations, but to reduce tenant running costs.

Angus Housing Association was keen to have sustainable energy solutions as a key part of its development. Mike McManus, Development Manager, Angus Housing Association, explains: “We bought the land from the Health Board, demolished the old hospital and working with Scotia Homes we will have a mixed development for families and seniors.

“Using renewable energy was a key feature for our specification but so was moving towards an all electric solution because of the costs, as a landlord, of the annual inspections and maintenance that come with using gas. Over the last couple of years we’ve had a policy of pushing towards using more renewables and we’ve installed solar hot water with gas before but this will be the first time we’ve used solar with electric heating.

Bruce Gordon, Senior Architectural Technician for Scotia Homes, says: “This was our first installation of solar and it worked very well for us. We undertook a lot of research beforehand into various systems and options as well as reviewing a number of manufacturers. The people at Dimplex were very helpful and provided us with guidance and information to help us make a well informed decision and were happy to get involved in discussions with the plumber and electrician about any issues. We also had a site visit from Dimplex and everything just came
together – we’d certainly use Dimplex again.”

With the high levels of insulation required in new homes and the consequent reduction in energy needed for heating, energy requirements for water heating are often a significant part of the overall energy needs for a property. The use of solar thermal water heating easily reduces energy consumption, reducing the carbon dioxide emissions for the property which helps to comply with Building Regulations.

Angus Housing Association manages more than 1600 houses in Angus and Dundee, and although it’s early days in assessing the success of the solar installation, it has already specified solar again.

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