Passivhaus Affiliate

Scottish Passivhaus social scheme goes for gold

In pursuit of tackling fuel poverty for the people of Garelochhead, amid challenging climate target pressures, Linn Walk social housing scheme strives to achieve the gold standard for energy-efficiency in the UK.

Linn Walk, Garelochhead, Image credit: Tom Manley

Originally developed as a proposal for 10 standard new homes for social rent, PHT members John Gilbert Architects reinvigorated plans for Linn Walk to meet the Passivhaus Standard. By aiming to not only satisfy the social housing budgets of the local area, but also to surpass the Government's housing demand targets, the scheme strives to go the extra mile to provide energy-efficient, healthy, and comfortable homes for all by undergoing Passivhaus certification. The scheme is delivered within Scottish Government Housing Association Grant parameters.


Key Stats

Completion date: 2021

Project stage: Complete & certification imminent - currently undergoing certification process

Units: 10

Treated Floor Area (TFA): 766.5m2

Construction type: Timber frame

Occupany: 20

Linn Walk, Garelochhead, Image credit: John Gilbert Architects


Rural fuel poverty is a significant issue in Scotland, the team have worked closely with Argyll Community Housing Association to realise these new Passivhaus homes to improve the health and wealth of local residents. In addition, this is the fourth and largest project completed so far in the Passivhoos collaboration between John Gilbert Architects and Stewart & Shields. This project continues to demonstrate our commitment to meeting challenging social housing budgets whilst addressing the Scottish Government's agendas of housing need, low carbon places, health and wellbeing.

Chris Morgan, Director of John Gilbert Architects


Completed this year (2021), the 10 homes at Linn Walk consist of:

  • 3 Flats
  • 4 Semi-detached homes
  • 3 Terraced bungalows

By upgrading the existing scheme to meet the Passivhaus Standard, the amount of energy required for heating is expected to be reduced by up to 90% and the total energy usage would decrease by approximately 70%. This results in slashed energy bills and significantly shrinking the carbon footprint of new homes.

Linn Walk, Garelochhead, Image credit: Tom Manley


Achieved by increased insulation and airtightness as part of the fabric first approach, the Passivhaus homes will remain comfortable throughout the winter months by eradicating draughts and heat losses. Efficient ventilation supplied by the MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) system will maintain high levels of indoor air quality throughout the day and night, providing healthy living environments, as well as even temperatures throughout all seasons.



Timberframe and mineral wool insulation  
U-value: 0.112 W/(m2K)


Raft foundation with proprietary insulation system 

U-value: 0.109 W/(m2K)


Cold roof with truss and mineral wool 
U-value: 0.082 W/(m2K)

Linn Walk, Garrelochhead, Image credit: Tom Manley


Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) is part of a host of housing associations across Scotland in developing Passivhaus, including Hanover Housing Association, Eildon Housing Association and Nith Valley LEAF Trust(NVLT). Linn Walk in Garelochhead has implemented Passivhaus as a route to safeguarding the community intackling fuel poverty whilst meeting climate targets.

Discover our Passivhaus social housing campaign for more case studies, and to find out more about which councils/ housing associations are already building to Passivhaus Standards.

Key team

Project Owner/ Client: Kirsteen McGinn, Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA)

Architects:  PHT member John Gilbert Architects

Main Contractor: Stewart & Shields

Structural engineers: PHT member Design Engineering Workshop

Developer: Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA)

Certifier: PHT Patron WARM

Linn Walk, Garelochhead, Image credit: Tom Manley


Further information

Linn Walk Garelochhead

Passivhaus Social Housing

Passivhaus & Planning

Previous PHT story: Passivhaus developments in Scotland - 20 February 2019

29th July 2021

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