A SCOTTISH Government minister has joined Confor on a visit to the Zero Carbon Home at COP26 to understand more about the enormous potential of building with home-grown wood.

Mairi Gougeon MSP, cabinet secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, met architect Peter Smith and Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall at the one-bedroom modular timber house in the centre of Glasgow.

Mr Smith, of Roderick James Architects, estimates that the house - built with home-grown Scottish spruce and including wood fibre insulation - will lock up twice as much carbon as was emitted in constructing it. 

READ MORE: Confor on COP26: "Forestry leadership needed at home"

In addition, when in use, it emits a fraction of the carbon that would be emitted by traditional build. It requires minimal energy to heat and that can come from renewable sources.

Ms Gougeon said: "This is an inspiring example of Scottish innovation in response to the climate emergency. Scotland is leading the way on both tree planting and greater use of home-grown wood - to support our environmental ambitions to meet net-zero by 2045, but also to support sustainable and thriving rural communities.

Forestry Journal:

"It was great to visit the Zero Carbon Home and understand the potential to do much more - and wonderful to think that the house will be re-built after COP26 and become someone's Highland home."

The house is a great example of sustainable and Passivhaus building principles. Once COP26 is over, it will be dismantled into its original panels and reassembled as part of a community of 12 affordable timber houses in Boat of Garten, near Aviemore.

Mr Smith said: “Things need to change if we’ve got any chance of meeting our climate commitments. Whilst we’re on the world stage like this, we have to grasp this opportunity to show to the world what we can do in this country with simple technologies, and with home-grown timber.

READ MORE: Maria Bellissimo joins forest and wood trade body Confor as policy officer

“With a bit of collaboration and careful thought, we can solve the problems that we’re facing at the moment. There are going to be lots of people looking at us,  and I hope that they see this as a small beacon of hope."

Mr Goodall, Confor CEO, said: "This is a stunning example of how we can deliver more high-quality, affordable homes made from wood.  


"Building high-quality homes with Scottish timber is a simple win-win. To achieve net zero we have to decarbonise housing and using wood enables that - and by using home-grown Scottish wood, we also stimulate and support jobs and growth in the rural economy."