modern and sustainable house

Scotland Expo – Rubber House and Seminars

Scotland’s Housing Expo is really taking off, experiencing 600+ visitors per day. Apart from all the exhibits, there is a wide array of seminars going on. I strongly suggest that you attend the one dedicated to pre-fab timber houses but there are loads more. Please check here for a full list of seminars and events (you need to scroll down for the calendar view)!

The Rubber House

The Rubber House

As far as the exhibits are concerned, there’s lots to see. I’ve got some unique on-site shots for you. No more digital renderings, I promise. How about a rubber house? It is a terrace of 4 family homes created by jmarchitects, wrapped in a skin of black rubber and finished in black stained larch cladding (the wall facing north).

The use of rubber membrane as a sustainable solar thermal absorbing cladding system is very unusual. it covers three walls and the roof.

You must have noticed that I am partial to grass houses and green fa├žades – this living wall featuring climbing ivy is almost as good (don’t worry, it will soon look much better, ivy is quite a fast-growing plant).

A Green Place

A Green Place

The “A Green Place To Live” is a no-nonsense timber frame building by David Blaikie Architects. It is a very beautiful and modern approach to pre-fab houses.

Its sustainability is mainly achieved by off-site construction and pre-fabricated central service cores, built locally with Scottish timber.

These houses come in various layouts to make for both flats and full-size family homes. Definitely one of the must-sees of the Scotland’s Housing Expo.

The Gem House

The Gem House

The Gem is a distinctive super-insulated reinterpretation of a Highland cottage created by Trevor Black Architects. The cottage is spacious (I thought it was a terrace when I first saw it), bright and cosy with generous south facing windows, constructed of locally sourced indigenous materials.

It is a timber frame building, with innovative double stud for super high insulation and with masonry thermal store.

The Stone House

The Stone House

NORD (Northern Office for Research and Design) has come up with the Stone House. It is what it says on the label – a stone house. Many people forget that locally sourced stone is quite a good green material. Living not far away from the Isle of Portland, I often see houses being built using local stone.

This one’s Caithness stone. It is a terrace of four family houses. Each house has three bedrooms and kitchen on the ground floor and open plan living areas on the upper level with access to a private terrace.

Although the Stone House looks monumental, it is in fact a timber frame building clad in Caithness stone, slate and larch.

The Flower House

The Flower House

To finish this off, another pic from the Flower House by A&J Burridge. Remember, we were looking for the gutter on the digital rendering.

Now, this is a real-life picture, and you can really see the gutter hidden away. As far as green home design is concerned – this one’s unique. Its exterior is so daring, yet it somehow manages to retain that rural cottage look.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the Scotland’s Housing Expo so please do come back for more!


  1. Scotland’s Housing Expo 2010 – How Green is it?
  2. Straw Bale House with a Little Twist
  3. A 20 Years Old Eco House in NJ
  4. Cave House in Spain – Apartment
  5. Tiny Eco House in Tokyo

5 Responses to “Scotland Expo – Rubber House and Seminars”

  1. I visited Scotland recently with a friend and we went to the property expo- the rubber house was amazing! It was such an ingenious design.
    How about making a green colour rubber house?

  2. Douglas Dalgleish says:

    I’m not persuaded by Commercial Property Agent’s suggestion. The black rubber was acting as a background to green ivy, and it is a relevant dark background colour. Would coloured rubber have adequate UV resistance? Although I enjoyed the rubber house I preferred several other buildings. I see the housing EXPO as having wider relevance, as I set out at
    I attended the CPD seminar on Home Grown Timber in Construction on 16th August. It was a very good event, packed with relevant insight, examples and information.

  3. These are stunning… I love it and I am curious to see these rubber houses. Thats why I am planning to visit these houses as soon as possible.
    Mellisa Turner

  4. I think that the black rubber house looks great. Ivy grows so quick it will be covered in the blink of an eye, we have a cottage in Devon and it is a pest. We have all of these tyres that go into landfill, if the rubber can be used to clad the exterior of a house, then why not use it.

    Come to think of it, last weeks Grand Designs (repeat) had a house with walls made from rubber tyres filled with mud! Aesthetically though, the flower house looks the most daring and for one simple reason, where are the gutters and drain pipes – doesn’t that look wierd and yet it should be normal, why do we need drainpipes and gutters externally – makes you think!

  5. admin says:

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, old tyres are good as gold, yet underestimated. I watched that Grand Designs episode too – very inspiring. Green homes are actually much more affordable than they want us to think. As for the external drainpipes, they should be abolished – both ugly and impractical.