Roots at Sustainable Uist Conference

, Subject : Technical, Workshops

Uist Wind TurbineRoots’ Directors Chris and Micheal attended the ‘Hard to Treat Housing (HtT) Conference’ on Uist in the Outer Hebrides last week. 

Organised by Sustainable Uist (SU) ( the conference was the latest event in their ongoing agenda to ensure the long term sustainability of the island’s community.  The principle focus here was the issue of reducing both Fuel Poverty and CO2 levels on the island through potential upgrades to the existing housing stock. 

SU have already conducted research on over 500 of the island’s houses, and organised the conference as a way of encouraging debate on whether affordable and practical solutions could be developed and applied.  The two day conference was attended by a host of government, manufacturing and design professionals. 

Day one included a series of lectures from delegates where the issues surrounding HtT Houses were presented and potential solutions were put forward.  Day two contained a number of workshops where the delegates split up to discuss the subject in an open forum.  The key points of debate throughout the conference related to, whether it is best practice to add additional insulation outside or inside an existing property; whether to insulate at all and instead ensure the buildings are water and air tight; whether HtT is an appropriate term; whether what standards of performance and grading should be used; whether potential upgrades should be driven by incentives or legislation; and whether Fuel Poverty or CO2 reduction should be the principal focus.

Sustainable Uist Food Trial GreenhouseChris commented ‘What impressed me about the conference and SU’s overall agenda is that it is taking an holistic approach to the wider issue of sustainability on Uist.  It isn’t just addressing the housing sector but is also looking at food production, re-newable energy projects and other aspects of island life.  It is important that all these elements are considered together to ensure the population of Uist can enjoy a sustainable lifestyle.  We believe the key to achieving this is to keep the community at the forefront of the project.  Social Sustainability has always been an active part of island life, with inhabitants having to be resilient, resourceful and economical.  If this natural character is encouraged then it will undoubtedly have a positive effect on both the issues of Fuel Poverty and CO2 emissions, and contribute to creating a long term sustainable community.’

Roots were delighted to be a part of such a positive and enjoyable event, well hosted by SU.  We certainly look forward to continuing the relationships we formed on Uist and wish SU ongoing success with their agenda.

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