Cruden Group

Plans lodged for new Aberlady housing development

AberladyA planning application has been submitted by Cruden Homes to deliver 107 homes at Aberlady.

Owned by Wemyss and March Estates, the proposed development site lies to the west of Aberlady, off Kirk Road. The application also includes associated infrastructure and open space.

The site is allocated in the Draft Proposed East Lothian Local Development Plan for “circa 100 new homes, access, infrastructure and open space.” and forms part of the wider housing contribution for East Lothian, which is required to deliver an additional 10,050 new homes by 2024. The population of the county is anticipated to grow by 35 per cent by 2036.

As requested by East Lothian Council, the planning application will provide a range and mix of house types, from two-bedroom flats to five –bedroom homes with open space and linkages to the existing village and beyond whilst delivering a new link through the site to connect Kirk Road with the A198. This will use the existing priority junction at The Pleasance to avoid traffic having to pass Aberlady primary school when coming to or leaving from the new housing area.

This new junction will also minimise the disruption to protected trees located along the roadside boundary, which are an important part of the character of the coastal route and the western approach to Aberlady village.

Extensive community engagement has been undertaken to shape the proposals, including with the local community, councillors and Gullane Area Community Council and Aberlady Community Association.

Should planning consent be given, Cruden Homes intends to engage in a range of community benefit initiatives across certain projects, supporting local people with on-site training placements and apprenticeships that can often result in longer term employment opportunities.

Cruden Homes also intends to ensure that local SMEs are aware of all associated tendering opportunities in order to promote and encourage their sustainable growth and success.

Fraser Lynes from Cruden Homes said: “Given our companies history in East Lothian we are delighted to be lodging proposals for much needed new housing in Aberlady, which include the on-site delivery of 25 per cent affordable housing.

“The site has been allocated for housing in the Draft Local Development Plan and we wanted to ensure, through our consultation process, that the views of the local community helped shape the proposals going forward. Whilst there were a number of themes mentioned by the local community, we hope our proposals provide a development that complements the outstanding village of Aberlady.

“As with our other developments in East Lothian, should we receive planning consent we look forward to working with the local community as we move forward with these proposals.”

Cruden Homes scoops Home Builder of the Year at premier industry awards

The winners of the 2016 Homes for Scotland Annual Awards

The winners of the 2016 Homes for Scotland Annual Awards

Designed to showcase the sector’s achievements in building homes that meet a diverse set of needs and aspirations, trade body Homes for Scotland has announced the winners of its prestigious awards scheme at the organisation’s largest ever ceremony.

This year’s revamped programme was designed to ensure that the awards remain the most relevant and credible within the industry and were shaped by those who know exactly what’s involved in delivering the range of quality homes our country desperately needs.

The awards were presented by comedian and actor Hugh Dennis in front of a record 1100-strong crowd, the largest such industry gathering, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday 20 May.

Cruden Homes scooped the top Home Builder of the Year award for its innovative approach to partnership working and deal making, with the judges particularly impressed by the company’s strong focus on customer care.

Kareen Davidson, former sales & marketing director, Bett Homes and chair of the independent judging panel, said: “With a refreshed and refocused format for 2016, my fellow judges and I were determined to make sure that, as driven by a Homes for Scotland member-led panel, this year’s awards are the most credible and robust in the industry.

“So with all entries assessed according to a broad range of criteria, there is no doubt that those making the shortlist and those going on to win awards are worthy of this prestigious recognition, with all strong contenders in their own right.  This has been reinforced through a rigorous site inspection process in the development categories, the clearly demonstrated understanding of the needs of First Time Buyers for Home of the Year and the impressive value added to the sector by supporting organisations.

“Judging the awards has been a tough but rewarding job and we congratulate everyone who entered for their commitment and the showcasing of their achievements in helping to ensure we are building enough Homes for Scotland.”

The full list of winners included:

  • Private Development of the Year – large
    (100+ units)

Winner:

Dundas Estates & Development
Calderwood Village, Coatbridge

  • Private Development of the Year – medium
    (26-99 units)

Winner:

Cruden Homes (East)
Woodcroft, Edinburgh

Special commendation:

A & J Stephen (Builders) & ZeroC Holdings
Chapelton, Aberdeenshire

  • Private Development of the Year – small
    (up to 25 units)

Winner:

Springfield Properties
Middleton of Canmore, Braemar

  • Affordable Housing Development of the Year    

Winner:

GHA (part of the Wheatley Group) / CCG Scotland
Sighthill, Glasgow

Special commendation:

Places for People
Fortune Place, Edinburgh

  • Home of the Year – First Time Buyers 

Winner:

Cruden Homes West
Berberis

  • Supporting Organisation of the Year            

Winner:

Hillcrest Housing Association

  • Homes for Scotland
    Home Builder of the Year 2016

Winner:

Cruden Homes

ONS construction dip ‘reflects EU uncertainty’

FMBThe Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has pointed towards uncertainty amongst businesses and consumers ahead of the EU referendum as a reason behind the latest fall in output within the construction industry.

Latest construction sector figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a 0.3 per cent fall in output during February compared to the month before

According to the report, both all new work and repair and maintenance reported decreases, falling by 0.2 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Sarah McMonagle, head of external affairs at the FMB, said the figures, which show that construction output fell for the second month in a row, could well stem from uncertainty around the outcome of the EU referendum.

She added: “Construction is an industry that is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in confidence and the forthcoming referendum seems to be having a negative impact on business owners and consumers alike. Much in the same way as the Scottish independence vote weighed on industry confidence back in September 2014, hesitance over investment will likely prevail until we know the result on 23rd June. This isn’t a precipitous drop, but after the prolonged downturn experienced by our sector following the financial crisis, these results are disappointing. We can only hope that this contraction is a blip rather than a prolonged decrease in construction output.”

Within new work, there were decreases in all work types, except private new housing. Within repair and maintenance (R&M) there were falls in all work types except public housing R&M.

Scottish construction firms Cruden Building & Renewals and Kier Construction, said the figures do not reflect their experience in Scotland.

“While disappointing, these ONS statistics don’t fully illustrate the optimism felt by those on the ground, nor do they reflect the resoluteness of the Scottish construction industry,” said Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals.

“Housebuilding remains a key driver for Scottish economic growth and will continue to do so. At Cruden, our ongoing work across a number of projects, including the launch this month of our new Baron’s Vale development at Glasgow’s east end, will help to support further growth.”

Gordon Reid, business development manager for Kier Construction in Scotland, added: “Kier entered the year on a high with the announcement of a good set of half-year financial results, strongly supported by our ongoing successful framework model.

“This steady growth allows us to facilitate local employment and training opportunities throughout the country on all the projects we undertake. Addressing the skills gap in the industry should be a priority. With new opportunities on the horizon, we must ensure we have a talented, hard-working, technically astute workforce to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise.”

Deal agreed to deliver new homes in Craigmillar

The proposed redevelopment of Craigmillar town centre

The proposed redevelopment of Craigmillar town centre

A deal has been agreed between The EDI Group Ltd and housebuilder Cruden Homes to build a further 148 new homes in Craigmillar, Edinburgh.

The vacant site on Niddrie Main Road is the final phase in the Wauchope Square Masterplan area which is part of EDI’s wider regeneration of Craigmillar. The agreed sale will enable Edinburgh-based Cruden Homes to submit plans for a mixture of high quality private and affordable housing to meet the needs of the local area.

A variety of modern house types are being proposed for the site, adjacent to Richmond Church, and will include a balanced mix of one, two and three bedroom properties, subject to planning permission.

EDI, through its subsidiary Parc Craigmillar Ltd, is responsible for the ongoing regeneration of Craigmillar and the sale of the Wauchope site marks a significant milestone in this award winning development.

The deal gives a significant boost to the next phase of redevelopment in Craigmillar Town Centre. Due to be completed over the next six years, the town centre will be transformed by a high quality new retail centre with major stores by Lidl and Homes Bargains planned, as well as a public square and community play park complimented by a new secondary school and further housing.

Up to 2,000 new homes will be delivered as part of the wider Craigmillar development with nearly 600 homes completed.

Mark Harris, head of regeneration at EDI Group, said: “This announcement signals the final sale of land in EDI’s Wauchope Square development. We’re pleased to be working again with Cruden Homes and the delivery of new homes at Wauchope will be instrumental in creating a thriving community to support our Craigmillar Town Centre improvements, including a new retail centre due to start in Spring.”

Exterior of The View

Exterior of The View

The deal to deliver new homes at Wauchope is the third time The EDI Group and Cruden Homes has joined forces. The award-winning Scottish housebuilder is currently onsite building new apartments and terraced villas at The View which is due for completion in the summer. The View forms part of the vibrant neighbourhood phases at Craigmillar and will provide 98 homes.

Fraser Lynes, land and development director at Cruden Homes, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our association with the ongoing regeneration of Craigmillar and look forward to delivering this phase of quality homes and apartments.”

Councillor Frank Ross, economy convener and EDI chair, said: “This next phase is an important milestone for the regeneration of Craigmillar. I am sure that Cruden Homes’ vision for a vibrant mix of apartments and houses will help trigger further investment in the area, creating welcome job opportunities in construction and other related areas in support of EDI’s plans for a revived town centre for Craigmillar.”

Cruden Building & Renewals scoops major UK-wide innovation award

Cruden directors David McEvoy (centre left) and Raymond McCafferty (centre right) are presented with Most Innovative Contractor Award

Cruden directors David McEvoy (centre left) and Raymond McCafferty (centre right) are presented with Most Innovative Contractor Award

A Retrofit App designed to assist social landlords reduce fuel poverty has helped Cruden Building & Renewals take home the prize for Most Innovative Contractor at the prestigious UK-wide Housing Innovation Awards 2016.

The Awards, which took place in London on 18 February, aim to recognise and reward housing providers and companies who come up with innovative and inventive projects and new ways of working.

Part of the Cruden Group, Cruden Building & Renewals is an innovative construction company with operations across the West of Scotland. It employs around 400 staff to deliver high quality mixed tenure housing projects for local authorities, RSLs and co-operatives and has particular expertise in the field of regeneration. Cruden is also part of the City Legacy consortium that built The Athletes’ Village for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Rufus Logan of BRE and Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden, with deputy first minister John Swinney at the launch of the Retrofit App

Rufus Logan of BRE and Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden, with deputy first minister John Swinney at the launch of the Retrofit App

One of Cruden’s innovations in 2015 was its new Retrofit App for the housebuilding sector, which was developed in partnership with BRE. This user-friendly app tells landlords what they need to do to upgrade a property, how much it will cost, and how much money it will save in maintenance and running costs. It has the potential to help social housing tenants by improving health through making homes warmer and cheaper to run, and by making upgrades less disruptive. It will allow social landlords to upgrade properties more efficiently and save money on maintenance costs.

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Cruden Building & Renewals has been recognised at a national level for its commitment to innovation in what has been a very successful year for us. It is a fantastic achievement for all our staff right across the organisation – innovation is part of best practice shared across the Cruden Group.

“As well as the launch of our Retrofit App following on from our very successful energy efficient new build housing design model Cruden C4S, we are always looking for ways to innovate to make things better for our customers. Key to Cruden’s continued growth and success is our commitment to pioneering construction technologies and integrated management systems, which ensure we can consistently operate highly efficient working practices resulting in project delivery on time and on budget.”

Plans unveiled for over 100 homes in Aberlady

Cruden HomesProposals have been put forward by Cruden Homes to deliver 105 homes at Aberlady.

A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) has been lodged with East Lothian Council signalling the intent to lodge a planning application following a period of community consultation for the proposed site lying to the west of Aberlady.

Currently owned by Wemyss and March Estate, the site is due to be allocated in the emerging Draft East Lothian Local Development Plan for “circa 100 new homes, access, infrastructure and open space.”

The local councillors and Gullane Area Community Council and Aberlady Community Association have also been sent a copy of the PAN.

A prerequisite of the proposal is to provide a new link through the site to connect Kirk Road with the A198. This will use the existing priority junction at The Pleasance to avoid traffic having to pass Aberlady primary school when coming to or leaving from the new housing area.

This new junction will also minimise the disruption to protected trees along the roadside boundary, which are an important part of the character of the coastal route and the approach to Aberlady village.

Commenting on the proposals, Fraser Lynes from Cruden Homes said: “Given our companies history in East Lothian and ongoing ties, we are delighted to be bringing forward proposals for a new development in Aberlady, which we will be going out for public consultation on.

“It is clearly positive that the site has been allocated for housing in the draft Local Development Plan and we want to ensure, through this consultation process, that the views of the local community help shape the proposals going forward.”

Industry welcomes £160m Help to Buy successor

Nicola Barclay

Nicola Barclay

The Scottish Government has unveiled more than £160 million of new funding to targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.

More than £80m will go to the established Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) helping up to 2,000 eligible first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes.

The Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable Home Ownership scheme will help up to 3,000 households next year, backed by £80m equity support towards the purchase price.

The three year £195m Help to Buy scheme, which will help thousands of lower income households buy a new-build home, will open for applications on March 1.

The country’s home building industry emphasised the importance of such support in sustaining jobs and providing Scots with the opportunity to realise their home ownership aspirations.

Incoming chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, Nicola Barclay, said: “Since its introduction, the Help to Buy initiative has proved enormously successful. With demand consistently outstripping the available budget, it has clearly demonstrated the desire of Scots to own their own home whilst helping to get the industry moving again. This is evident in the results of our own research which shows the scheme has delivered in both social and economic terms – stimulating investment, increasing the number of homes built across the private and public sectors and creating jobs.

“Whilst £195m of funding has been announced for the next three years, the fact is that this represents a significant reduction on previous rounds. The changes in criteria with reducing price ceilings means that some builders will be excluded from the programme altogether which may restrict supply in some parts of the country.  Others will have to adjust their product mix to suit but this will only be feasible if local authority planning departments support and work with them to do so quickly and efficiently.

“Allocating more money to a scheme that has proved its value over a number of measures would have allowed its benefits to be maximised even further.

“Acknowledging that Help to Buy is one tool in the box, we will continue to press the Scottish Government for more support across the industry – from a streamlined planning system to attracting more people into our sector.”

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Homes West, added: “The Help to Buy scheme helped many Cruden Homes first-time buyers take their first step on to the property ladder and today, Cruden warmly welcomes its successor which will act as a catalyst to support a new generation of Scottish homeowners for years to come.

“It’s clear that the Scottish Government has listened to the construction sector and our customers and considered the significant role that the Help to Buy scheme played in supporting stability and leading to job creation and economic growth. The impact of introducing a successor to this scheme will be felt across the sector – from larger operators with significant developments to those on a smaller scale.”

Social justice secretary Alex Neil said: “I am delighted that we can help 5000 home buyers into affordable home ownership in the coming financial year, underpinned by £160m, which is £35m more than originally planned for this year.

“Importantly, this new funding is specifically targeted to support thousands of low income individuals and families across Scotland get on or up the housing ladder.

“Since 2007, OMSE has helped over 6,000 first time buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their first home to get a foot on the housing ladder; and this year we will help another 2000.

“Through Help to Buy, we have already helped 7,500 households buy a new build home and over the next three years our successor Help to Buy Scheme will help another 7,500 as well as boosting the home building industry, and support jobs across Scotland.

“Homes for Scotland and the Council of Mortgage Lenders expressed clear views about how Help to Buy should be improved. We have listened carefully to what they told us and worked with them to develop the scheme to support industry and buyers as much as possible.

“The funding is also good news in particular for the SME sector of the housing industry. Hundreds of small developers will benefit from people buying new affordable homes across urban and rural Scotland.”

‘Cautious optimism’ despite biggest annual drop in construction output since 2013

Allan Callaghan

Allan Callaghan

The UK’s construction output fell in November to its biggest annual drop since May 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today.

Output in the construction industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.5 per cent in November 2015 compared with the previous month. All new work was the largest contributor to the fall, decreasing by 0.7 per cent, with repair and maintenance (R&M) falling 0.2 per cent.

On an annual basis, output dropped 1.1 per cent.

The ONS said bad weather may have weighed on the construction industry which accounts for around 6 per cent of gross domestic product.

Within new work, there were increases in public other (2.3 per cent), private industrial (1.7 per cent) and total housing (0.9 per cent). However, these were offset by decreases in infrastructure and private commercial work of 4.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

Repair and maintenance (R&M) decreased by 0.2 per cent with decreases in both components of housing repair and maintenance; private falling by 1.3 per cent and public by 0.7 per cent. Non-housing repair and maintenance increased by 0.8 per cent.

Compared with November 2014, output in the construction industry decreased by 1.1 per cent. All new work increased by 1.3 per cent while there was a fall of 5.1 per cent in repair and maintenance. The main upwards contribution to all new work came from infrastructure which increased by 11.7 per cent.

Comparing the three months, September 2015 to November 2015, with the previous three months, June 2015 to August 2015, construction output fell by 1.4 per cent. All new work and all repair and maintenance decreased by 1.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

When comparing the three months, September 2015 to November 2015, with the same three months a year ago, construction output was estimated to have decreased by 0.1 per cent. All new work increased by 2.4 per cent while repair and maintenance decreased by 4.3 per cent.

The managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals said he remains optimistic despite the dip in the ONS construction statistics.

Allan Callaghan said: “While these figures are perhaps disappointing giving the slight rise in last year’s figures, those operating north of the border will not be too disheartened.

“I have always argued that while these figures are an important marker for sector output and operations, taking a wider viewpoint of the sector as a whole by listening to those on the ground will always be my preferred option.

“There is a real feeling of positivity and confidence from operators north of the border which has been building over the last few months. We ourselves have a wide range of activity across all areas of Scotland, but most notably in the west coast. Demand for our offering remains high and we look forward to bringing a new development to market in the next few months which will go a long way in supporting Glasgow’s housing requirements.

“2016 can be viewed as a real year to change, further diversify and make sure Scotland’s construction offering continues to meet the needs of the Scottish people. I have every confidence that it will.”

Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid

Kier Construction pointed to a bigger picture despite the downturn.

Gordon Reid, business development manager for Kier Construction in Scotland, said: “While it would have been nice to start January with a positive set of figures, you only need to look at the fluctuating pattern of releases over the past few months to see that we shouldn’t be too disheartened. The one constant is the ever-changing nature of the construction sector.

“The positivity and confidence have long been here in Scotland and this year may very well be the 12 months where market requirements and sector offering come together to support consistent growth. All those operating in construction will of course hope that they do, as the sector continues to play its leading role in the economic recovery.

“At Kier, we are greatly looking forward to the year ahead with a number of ongoing projects currently under way and many more in the pipeline, particularly within the education sector. We are delighted to be undertaking additional work with hub South West Scotland on behalf of South, East and North Ayrshire Councils across a number of projects at Marr College, Ayr Academy, Garnock Academy and the East Ayrshire Learning Campus, further illustrating our position as a UK leader across education.

“We will continue to use local knowledge, SMEs and our expertise across the many diverse sectors in which we operate, including healthcare and education, and taking our own successes into consideration, fully expect a greater number of positive ONS figures over the coming months.”

£14bn record Scottish construction output ‘overly reliant on infrastructure’

construction-stockOutput in the Scottish construction sector has risen to records levels, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

New figures published today show that output over the 12 months to September this year rose to over £14 billion compared to a previous record output of more than £13bn over the 12 months to June.

Vaughan Hart

Vaughan Hart

Scottish Building Federation managing director, Vaughan Hart, welcomed the figures but warned that the growth is unsustainable as it is largely driven by major infrastructure projects and not balanced across different sectors of the Scottish construction industry.

He said: “Of course, following the recession, the recent impressive growth in construction sector output is great news with output showing a new record high of more than £14bn over the 12 months to September 2015.

“However, these latest output figures reinforce the key finding of the Ernst and Young report published earlier this week: Namely, that the Scottish economy has become overly reliant on major infrastructure projects as the main source of economic growth and that this is not sustainable in the long term.”

As an overall percentage of Scottish construction industry output, infrastructure has risen from around £1.5bn or 13 per cent of total industry output over the 12 months to September 2008 to almost £4bn or 28 per cent over the 12 months to September 2015. As a comparison, new housing was worth around £2.5bn or 22 per cent of total industry output in 2008 but is now worth £2.2bn or 16 per cent of total industry output. Private commercial activity has also declined over that period from £3.1bn or 26 per cent of total output seven years ago to £2.4 billion or 17 per cent today.

Mr Hart added: “Based on this analysis, I have to agree with the assessment that current rates of output growth in the Scottish construction sector are not sustainable and suggest an over-reliance on the infrastructure sector of the industry as the main source of this growth. In making future investment decisions, there needs to be a continued focus on balancing the industry’s performance across different sectors so as to put the industry’s recovery on a more sustainable footing for the longer term.”

Construction firm Cruden said it was encouraged by the growth.

Allan Callaghan

Allan Callaghan

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, said: “These latest findings will give the industry something to cheer following the release of negative figures of late. The rise in output will give real positivity to those operating north of the border which has continued to face strong economic headwinds, but which has always come out of the other side in a stronger position.”

He added: “The end of the year is also a time to take stock and review the bigger picture. While figures released will always be used as a marker for the strength of the sector, speaking to those on the ground has always been my preferred review method. And when I do, I gain great confidence that those in the sector have the skills, drive and appetite to innovate and constantly diversity to suit Scotland’s ongoing requirements. This gives me great positivity not only for Cruden, but for the industry in its entirety, as we move into next year and beyond.”

Innovative BRE app could help social landlords tackle fuel poverty

(from left) Allan Callaghan of Cruden, John Swinney and Rufus Logan of BRE

(from left) Allan Callaghan of Cruden, John Swinney and Rufus Logan of BRE

An innovative new app has been launched which promises to help social landlords and housebuilders in providing more energy efficient homes, reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions and improving the health of tenants.

Developed by Building Research Establishment (BRE) in partnership with Cruden, the app was officially launched yesterday by deputy first minister John Swinney MSP.

Mr Swinney visited the award winning BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig yesterday to hear how the new RetrofitLab App will allow housing associations, social landlords and housebuilders to easily calculate the benefits of refurbishing their existing properties, how much the work will cost, and how much can be saved in maintenance and running costs.

The data incorporated within the app is the most up to date on the marketplace and follows months of monitoring at the “Refurbished House” on the BRE Innovation Park in Ravenscraig.

BRE-DFM5Delivered by BRE Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Historic Scotland and constructed by Cruden Buildings and Renewals, the home represents a recreation of the “four in a block” model of which there are over 250,000 in Scotland and 3 million of a similar design in England. The app presents technical information in a user-friendly way, and importantly, helps the user make maximum benefits to properties with the minimum disruption to the resident.

Dr David Kelly, group director BRE Innovation Park Networks, said: “At BRE, we combine science and technology with innovation and entrepreneurship to develop and share solutions for existing and future buildings not only in Scotland but across the UK, Europe and around the world. This project is a prime example of BRE’s overriding objective to generate new knowledge through research and we are delighted that, following prolonged testing and monitoring at the Refurbished House, a range of innovative retrofit solutions for some of the country’s most energy inefficient homes have been identified.”

BRE Scotland director, Rufus Logan, added: “As a direct result of our research, we have been able to develop the BRE RetrofitLab App which is now available for free download. We believe this will be of particular interest to those operating within the housing sector as it allows energy efficiency options to be compared quickly and effectively, and just as importantly, it details the associated cost implications of each.”

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building and Renewals, said: “The RetrofitLab App has wide-ranging social, health, environmental and energy saving benefits. Energy-inefficient housing and fuel poverty are big issues in Scotland and are linked to poor physical and mental health. The RetrofitLab App will help tackle this problem by making it easy for social landlords to see the benefits of refurbishing their poorly-performing housing within just a couple of minutes.

“Cruden has invested heavily in this project, and we are now working with a like-minded client with difficult to improve housing stock challenges who would work with us on a pilot project. We are in advanced discussions with a large housing association to take this forward.

“We expect the app to be a success because the solutions it offers are both practically and commercially realistic. We’re also looking at developing the app for use on different types of homes such as flats, terraced, semi-detached and detached properties.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney added: “I welcome the launch of the new RetrofitLab App which will help housing associations, social landlords and house builders to easily calculate the benefits of refurbishing their existing properties. Ultimately this should encourage the creation of more energy efficient homes and benefit tenants living in the properties, for example by reducing their fuel and energy costs, improving the quality of their home and having a positive effect on their health and wellbeing.

“The Scottish Government supports innovation across the construction sector, ensuring the best environment for businesses and academia to interact, taking forward innovative ambitious projects of excellence that have the potential to bring millions more to the economy.”

The BRE RetrofitLab App is now available for free download on Apple iPads.