To live and work in The Highlands of Scotland is truly an honour. To be surrounded by the rugged wild beauty and experience nature's full breadth and force is humbling. But being part of such a wonderful rural community on the Isle of Skye is why people are at the centre of everything we do.
From our employees to our clients, our business partnerships and the communities we call home, we always strive to make a positive impact on everyone. We are in the privileged position to reflect a community’s character and interact with clients and businesses on both a professional and personal level, something many large companies cannot do.
We do this by:
- Improving lives by creating jobs that offer the opportunity to be part of a strong, supportive team with a sense of place, pride and purpose in what we do and why we do it.
- Building connections and relationships with our clients so we can make their dreams a reality. Our clients are always part of the R.HOUSE community.
- Partnering with businesses in the Highlands and across Scotland, drawing on each other’s strengths to deliver on our promise of producing high-quality, sustainable timber framed homes.
- Being an active part of social sustainability projects through new affordable housing initiatives, enabling future societies to function and flourish, empowering the local economy.
The Highland Council’s approved ‘Future Highlands-Health and Prosperity Strategic Partnership Plan’ recognises that access to good quality affordable homes is crucial to the growth of the Highland economy and the sustainability of communities.
Building high-quality, affordable homes is fundamental to meeting people’s housing needs, encouraging young people to stay where they grew up, and helping businesses attract and retain talent to revitalize the local economy.
We are passionate about supporting rural communities through affordable, sustainable housing projects. Our expertise has benefitted several public-sector housing initiatives.
We have worked alongside government and housing associations such as The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust, Albyn Housing Society, Lochaber Housing Association, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association and the Highland Council to provide much-needed affordable, energy-efficient housing across the Highlands.
Some areas where we have worked include Strontian, Kishorn, Auldearn, Reraig, Fort William, Dunvegan Road, Portree, Sleat, Raasay, Staffin and Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye.
Read more below about some of our community housing projects.
Project: Taighean a' Chaiseil, Affordable Housing
Taighean a' Chaiseil, Stenscholl, Staffin. Photo Credit - David Barbour.
This project (designed by Rural Design Architects and built by James MacQueen Building Contractors) was initiated by Staffin Communities and Housing Trust and Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association. The development included 6 affordable houses together with commercial units providing space for a new healthcare facility and local businesses.
The Trust's ambition is to reverse the trend of depopulation seen across the area by providing affordable homes for young families, creating local employment opportunities and sustaining the village primary school. The new Healthcare facility improves NHS service provision to the northern edges of the island.
Situated in the Trotternish national Scenic Area, Stenscholl is a traditional crofting community with a rich pattern of building types. The building plots run strictly perpendicular to the road working with the natural pattern of development to maintain a rural character. The material palette blends traditional white houses together with elements of silvered timber and stone. A muted red tone through the use of corrugated roofing on one building introduces a point of interest that is also familiar within the local environment.
Project: Kyleakin, Affordable Housing
Achmore Road & Charles Cameron Place, Isle of Skye.
This R.HOUSE project (designed by Rural Design Architects and built by James MacQueen Building Contractors) for affordable rent in collaboration with the Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association. It comprises 20 houses and 8 flats, designed to provide much-needed affordable, sustainable and energy-efficient housing to the local area.
Project: Portree, Affordable Housing
Struan Road, Portree, Isle of Skye. Photo Credit - David Barbour.
This R.HOUSE project (designed by Rural Design Architects and built by James MacQueen Building Contractors) included 28 flats for the Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association in 2014. It comprised of two sites in Portree, both located on the edge of the town by the Struan Road.
The footprint of the top site lent itself to a courtyard development: three blocks of four cottage flats to the perimeter, with a bank of existing trees closing the courtyard. The hilltop location results in most flats having an open outlook over the landscape.
The two storey forms are simple and restrained in the classic slate roof and white render vernacular, lifted above a base of black brick.
The lower site is set against a hill, allowing a larger scale to the development. Two three-storey blocks of flats are book-ended by two-storey cottage flats.
The top floor to the three-storey blocks is a timber-clad architrave over the white render base of the lower flats. The cottage flats are timber-clad with a corrugated roof.
We pre-fabricated the panels off-site. This ensured rapid progress to a wind and watertight “shell” - ideal on the Isle of Skye where weather is always a challenge for building!