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Project to tackle fuel poverty in Glasgow tenement housing scoops Housing Design Award

Innovation in Housing 2014 award winnerPassivTEN, a unique study by John Gilbert Architects aimed at eliminating fuel poverty from Glasgow tenement housing, has won the Saltire Society 2014 Innovation in Housing Award, sponsored by the Scottish Government.

This study illustrates the significant changes that are required to improve the carbon emissions, energy cost and comfort of a tenement flat.  The study beat off competition from other high profile projects including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village and Bogendollo House in Aberdeenshire to scoop the prestigious title and a cash prize of £1,500.

The award is part of the Saltire Society’s 2014 Saltire Housing Design Awards which were presented at a special ceremony at The Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation yesterday by guest of honour Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government and Planning.

The Housing Design Awards recognise excellence across five categories and represent a long-standing commitment from the Saltire Society to celebrate innovation and excellence in Scottish house building and place-making.

Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government’s support for the Saltire Society’s Housing Design Awards recognises their long-standing importance in helping to raise the quality of Scotland’s built environment.

“As well as the Housing Design awards, Scottish Ministers support the Society’s Innovation Award, which recognises many kinds of innovation, including the importance of pursuing new technologies and construction methods to minimise life-cycle costs and energy use – consistent with this Government’s ultimate aim for new homes to meet the highest sustainability standards.

“The Saltire Society recognises that people don’t just need great housing – they need great housing that is part of a great place.  And that is why I want to ensure that our planning policies reflect our ambition to create great places that support sustainable economic growth across the country, as outlined in the newly published Scottish Planning Policy.”


Under four categories, a number of other projects received Saltire Awards:

Large scale housing development, 15+ dwellings

  • Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, RMJM Architecture Limited
  • Charleston Square, Paisley, FBN Architects
  • Argyle Street and Shaftesbury Lane, Anderston, Collective Architecture

Small scale housing development, 2-15 dwellings

  • Burns Wynd, Maybole, Austin Smith: Lord LLP

Alterations, renovations and extensions

  • Moncrieff Avenue,  Lenzie, Cameronwebster Architects
  • North Gardner Street, Glasgow, Cameronwebster Architect

Single dwelling – new build

  • Cliff House, Galtrigill, Isle of Skye, Dualchas Architects
  • House at Coldbost, Isle of Skye, Dualchas Architects
  • House at Camusdarach Sands, Inverness-shire, Raw Architecture
  • House No. 7, Isle of Tiree, Denizen Works
  • Graham Place, Orkney, Shane M. Scott Ltd


Separately, North Gardner Street in Glasgow, the transformation of a semi derelict workshop and office building into a calm, private city house,designed by Cameronwebster Architects was selected by 2014 Annual Guest Chair, Eleanor McAllister OBE, to receive the Saltire Medal and a separate cash prize of £1,500.

2014 Saltire Medal winner

Commenting on her choice Ms McAllister said:

 “I am delighted to award the Saltire Medal to Cameronwebster’s North Gardner Street, a true example of excellence in design and innovation.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate all that is great about Scottish architecture and the general standard of this year’s entries was outstandingly high. I am pleased that we have been able to recognise so many of them in one way or another through these awards.”

As part of the awards ceremony, the Scottish branch of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) also announced the winner of the 2014 Good Building Award, selected from those projects listed on the Saltire Society’s 2014 Housing Design Awards shortlist. Argyle Street and Shaftesbury Lane, a the creation of 44 new, elegantly brick-clad flats and 5 townhouses to form a bold new streetscape within wider transformation of Glasgow’s inner city area of Anderston, designed by Collective Architecture received the award.

Commenting on the selection, John Dalton, Awards Chair at CIOB Scotland said:

 “In today’s financial climate, architects face a growing challenge to design good quality housing that is affordable while also creating a good living environment for occupants. The projects shortlisted for this year’s CIOB award all meet these criteria and have also been assessed in terms of buildability, durability, sustainability, future maintenance and overall value for money.

The Argyle Street project has been selected as the overall winner of the award primarily due to  the very high standard of brickwork, in particular the feature panels, as well as the quality of workmanship in the wall cladding to the east and west elevations.  The overall quality of finishes and attention to detail within the flats and the access stairways is also worthy of note.”

As well as the Housing Design Awards, the Saltire Society announced the winner of their 2014 Architecture travel bursary, sponsored by The British Council Scotland. This year’s recipient is Sophie Roberts from the Dundee School of Architecture who will use the £1,500 award to visit and review the architecture of Switzerland and Denmark.


Summing up this year’s Awards, Jim Tough, Executive Director of the Saltire Society said:

 “Now in their 77th year, the Saltire Housing Design Awards were created to promote the importance of good design and housing for all. Today’s awards have evolved and help to honour and encourage creativity, excellence and innovation in modern Scottish place-making.

“We have been hugely impressed by the calibre of entries this year with each entrant demonstrating creativity and real design flair. Feedback from the judges would indicate that the standards this year were particularly high and the decision on the overall winners particularly difficult to make. That is a real testament to the huge breadth of architectural talent to be found in Scotland at the current time.”