Spey Building and Joinery
Built on a remote rural site, Lochside House presented many challenges to both architect and builder. It was clear from the outset that the building would have to meet high standards of energy efficiency. In addition to this, every part of the house had to be brought to site in small trailers down a narrow and rough track, and all construction waste removed by the same route. This made it essential to minimise the amount and weight of material required.
All energy used by Lochside House must either be generated on-site from sustainable sources or from fuel delivered to the remote location. The first step in the energy strategy was to opt for solar, thermal and photovoltaic panels along with Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) to minimise energy usage and ensure very high thermal performance and airtightness.
Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) construction provided excellent thermal performance and a short build time to suit the unpredictable weather in the area. Specifying narrow SIP panels simplified handling and allowed smaller trailer loads. The few joints between panels made it simpler to achieve the very high level of airtightness required, while off site fabrication minimised site waste.
Lochside House is clad with Scottish Larch, charred by the contractor at their yard before being brought to site. The charring increases durability, but also darkens the tone of the timber in a natural way. The organic colours echo those in the surrounding landscape. The same charred boarding has been used for shutters over the windows and doors. Under the shelter at the entrance, the boarding has been given a contrasting paler finish, hinting at the pale timber finishes on the floorboards and bespoke joinery inside.