Robertson Partnership Homes affordable social housing Pennywell Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Homes Demonstrator


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Industry and government collaboration for a sustainable future

Robertson Timber Engineering is helping to transform the future delivery of affordable homes in Scotland.

The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator programme is a £1m programme devising a new business model for building net zero standard affordable homes, and as experts in the field of offsite timber construction, Robertson has been at the forefront of this collaborative project.

The Scottish Government commissioned important research into the benefits of using offsite construction methods for building affordable housing. Robertson, as a member of Offsite Solutions Scotland, contributed vital expertise in designing for manufacture and assembly (DfMA).

This project is set to improve the way we deliver homes by leveraging a collaborative approach, assessing whole life performance and increasing pre-manufactured value to drive both cost and carbon efficiencies.  Working together with industry partners, Scottish Government and leading academics, we have fostered a culture of knowledge sharing to accelerate the transition to net zero.
Nicola Jackson
Offsite Solutions Scotland chair

The research found considerable potential advantages which included the ability to deliver at scale, cost efficiencies, increased programme certainty and quality assurance, leading to the commissioning of 1000 homes as a test case through a series of three pilot projects.

Robertson Timber Engineering has been demonstrating the benefits of offsite construction for over 30 years. Building offsite provides many benfits for our customers. Being able to regulate and control the environment offsite improves cost certainty and significantly reduces waste. We’re able to deliver more in less time, with greater certainty.

Timber frames have become a key component of net-zero homes and our approach to construction is addressing skills shortages as we have the expertise in our factories to craft these custom-built structures with skill and precision.

Offsite Solutions Scotland chair Nicola Jackson has worked at Robertson Timber Engineering for six years and has been central to the collaboration.

The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator programme has also included Scottish Government, The City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Napier University, The University of Edinburgh, Offsite Solutions Scotland, Scottish Futures Trust, and Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST). 

Robertson Timber Engineering are engaged with Urban Union to deliver a closed-panel system for the second pilot (140 homes at Greendykes, Edinburgh).  Working with other Offsite Solutions Scotland members we are testing a new collaborative business model and enabling the optimisation of standard house types for efficient offsite manufacturing.