Solar Company Celebrates its Role in RIBA Grand Designs House of the Year

A solar firm is celebrating its part in the construction of the RIBA Grand Designs House of the Year 2018.

UK manufacturer, Viridian Solar supplied roof integrated solar panels for the winning Lochside House in the Scottish Highlands.

The house was designed by Cambridge Architects, Haysom Ward Miller and with its rural setting, sustainability and energy efficiency were extremely important. The house has its own water supply, sewage treatment and an off-grid solar energy system installed by AES Solar. The external cladding is of burnt Scottish larch and is used as a roof covering as well as for the walls. Dry stone walling surrounds the house and the low-profile roof integrated solar panels complement the other high-quality materials and form a prominent part of the overall design.

The RIBA judges were impressed by the sustainability and energy efficiency of the building, the choice of materials, and its integration into its wild setting.

Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president, described it as ‘truly breath-taking’: “With a highly sustainable, off-grid approach to energy and water, it leaves the surrounding environment as undisturbed as possible. Every detail has been fine-tuned to create an exceptional home and studio that meets the needs and wishes of its artist owner. Lochside House is the perfect addition to this dream landscape.”

Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs was also impressed: “This building has been tailored to its site. It’s been stitched and woven…seamed into the tapestry of this place and it is so much the better for it,” he said. “It’s the kind of architecture that we can all easily love, the kind of architecture we can all easily learn from; and it’s a way of building that we, in Britain, are getting really very good at.”

Stuart Elmes, CEO of Viridian Solar said, “The Lochside House is a deserved winner and a great example of how solar can be brought into the heart of building design.”

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