Firms look to a brighter fu­ture

The Herald - Scotland's Homes - - Introduction -

of Miller Homes Scot­land West, also be­lieves MI New Home is be­gin­ning to make an im­pact: “Pub­lic aware­ness is grow­ing and we are find­ing more and more peo­ple ask­ing how it works. To date the lim­ited avail­abil­ity of lenders of­fer­ing this prod­uct has been an is­sue, but Hal­i­fax should have a prod­uct shortly and the re­cent rate de­crease from Na­tion­wide makes the scheme more at­trac­tive to pur­chasers.”

Tay­lor Wim­pey and Miller Homes plan to in­tro­duce sev­eral de­vel­op­ments in the coming year, which will widen the choice of homes. Tay­lor Wim­pey’s in­cludes Dar­gavel Vil­lage in Bish­op­ton and a devel­op­ment at Red­ding Wood in Falkirk.

House­builders are also striv­ing to make them more de­sir­able. For Miller Homes, flex­i­bil­ity is the buzz­word for 2013. “Not only are in­di­vid­ual homeowners’ re­quire­ments dif­fer­ent, they also change with time,” says Gaffney. “The abil­ity of a home to evolve ac­cord­ingly is crit­i­cal. For ex­am­ple, a spare room can go from be­ing a nurs­ery to a fam­ily room and then a study as the fam­ily grows up.”

Tay­lor Wim­pey con­tin­u­ously re­views its Scot­tish house de­signs to en­sure homes re­flect the lat­est plan­ning guid­ance and think­ing.

Ross adds: “Ev­ery home in our Scot­tish port­fo­lio is de­signed to be able to of­fer a more prac­ti­cal and con­sid­ered liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment uni­ver­sally ac­ces­si­ble to a wide range of con­sumers, with each new style able to de­liver an im­proved lay­out that max­imises ev­ery­day liv­ing for all.”

This in­cludes level en­trance ac­cess, turn­ing cir­cles and ap­proved “ac­tiv­ity” spa­ces where ap­pro­pri­ate, space for a down­stairs shower if re­quired, an area at the bot­tom of ev­ery stair­case for a stair­lift if nec­es­sary, wider door widths, and a ground-floor room ca­pa­ble of be­ing turned into a bed­room should the need arise.

New-build houses have an­other ma­jor ad­van­tage over ex­ist­ing stock in that they are en­ergy ef­fi­cient and have achieved huge re­duc­tions in car­bon emis­sions since 1990.

“In­su­la­tion lev­els are much greater than they have ever been and there is a higher aware­ness of en­ergy wastage,” says Gaffney. “From boil­ers to kitchen ap­pli­ances, cus­tomers want to know they are buy­ing en­ergy-ef­fi­cient equip­ment that won’t be cost­ing them un­nec­es­sary money or caus­ing harm to the planet.”

Tay­lor Wim­pey’s lat­est spec­i­fi­ca­tion im­proves the over­all ther­mal en­ve­lope of its new homes in or­der to make them more air­tight to re­duce heat loss.

“We also give con­sid­er­a­tion to the as­pect and ori­en­ta­tion of plots when de­sign­ing de­vel­op­ments in or­der to max­imise so­lar gain,” says Ross. Buy­ers can also ex­pect im­proved loft, wall and floor in­su­la­tion, win­dows in­cor­po­rat­ing ar­gon-filled glaz­ing and warm-edge-spacer tech­nol­ogy, and en­trance doors with im­proved ther­mal prop­er­ties.

House­builders have also em­braced the Scot­tish Government’s “good street de­sign” pol­icy when plan­ning de­vel­op­ments to en­sure the en­vi­ron­ment has char­ac­ter, ar­eas for so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and play, gives pri­or­ity to foot and cy­cle paths and is aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing, with trees, land­scap­ing and street fur­ni­ture.

Tay­lor Wim­pey’s Dar­gavel Vil­lage in Bish­op­ton, part of a mul­ti­mil­lion-pound re­gen­er­a­tion in which fa­cil­i­ties for a new com­mu­nity will be de­liv­ered along­side a range of homes by var­i­ous de­vel­op­ers, is the first op­por­tu­nity for the house­builder to em­brace the pol­icy.

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