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  June 2015

New Projects
We’ve welcomed three new projects into the office in the last few weeks. We are now underway developing a major alteration to this rather wonderful listed building in nearby Bridge of Allan (pictured). In Edinburgh we have been asked to completely overhaul a house on a truly unique site, while in Balquidder Station, we are considering two new bijou tourist cabins as part of a small farm diversification process. More on all of these soon.

Chris will be attending the PHT/SEDA event on large scale passivhaus projects in June, while he presented at the recent SEDA Research Symposium, talking about the Building Performance work he has been doing at MEARU on the Dormont Park Passivhaus Development.

Chris was made Technology Leader for the final (5th) year Architecture students at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow which has taken up a lot of time. His first full cohort are now finished and preparations are underway to improve the course for next year.

Other Project Progress
Our Passivhaus in Fife with Passivhaus Associates is now on site, progress is being recorded on this site. Chris’s own home in Dunblane is now complete (minus some painting and garden work!) although the adjacent fourth house in the group is still under construction. Ferndown passivhaus in Aberdeenshire undetaken with Sam Foster Architects is now submitted for Planning, while the Sanz Passivhaus in Dunblane with Module Architects is almost ready to go onsite. Yet another Passivhaus in Lenzie is proceeding well after a horrible few months working over Winter.

  Listed Buildin Bridge of Allan

October 2014

New Consultancy
Locate recently won the commission to investigate the feasibility of refurbishing four run-down houses on Isle Martin near Ullapool. The work will be part of a wide-ranging effort to develop new renewables infrastructure and social and economic viability to bring people back onto the now uninhabited island. The image, right, shows the trip over by boat with long-term friend and collaborator Bernard Planterose and his son Sam.

New Passivhaus Project
After many months of protracted wrangling with Planning, we finally have permission to develop a new passivhaus for a local Dunblane smallholder.

Projects on Site
Chris's own house, along with others in a group of low energy homes is nearing completion in Dunblane, while the Lenzie Passivhaus and Gartarry Farm are just starting on site and Tree Nursery House is well underway.

. . . and in other news . . .
Chris will be giving a talk on sustainability with a rural focus in Biggar on the 24th November, while at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, he has been asked to run the technology programme for final year students which is taking up a lot of time…

  Isle Martin embarkation

June 2014

Consultancies Complete
Both the Braeport Centre and Killin Public Toilets studies have now been completed, and we wish each Client well in developing their plans.

Dunblane Eco-houses Ongoing
The 4 low energy house development in Dunblane, including Locate’s Chris Morgan’s very own home is now well underway on site with Perth-based builders Osprey Construction. Sadly the houses will no longer make the cut to be Passivhaus, due to cost reductions, but its exciting nonetheless!

Project Progress
The Stirling Eco-refurbishment is now complete and looking wonderful. Work is well underway on the equally substantial refurbishment at Tree Nursery House. Both Claddens Holdings passivhaus and Gartarry Farmhouse now have Planning permission and work is underway on Building warrant.

  Dunblane Eco-houses progress

February 2014

New Consultancies
We have won two new community-based, but rather different consultancies recently. One is to advise on the refurbishment and possible extension to a community centre called the Braeport (pictured) on our doorstep in Dunblane along with STAR Development Group. The other is part of the Team at SKS Scotland investigating the feasibility of community-owned public toilets in Killin.

New Architectural Projects
Having completed Red Yetts, we are now working on the refurbishment of 3 more buildings on the Brucefield Estate near Alloa. One is Gartarry Farmhouse, but more details to follow.

Oxford Calling
Chris has been invited to lecture at Oxford University to students enrolled in their Masters in Sustainable Urban Design. This academic term will also see Chris reprise his post-graduate elective course at the Mackintosh School of Architecture.

Project Progress
The Stirling Eco-refurbishment is now on site and progressing well. Both Tree Nursery House and the Claddens Holding passivhaus near Lenzie have been submitted for Planning and  Ferndown passivhaus in Aberdeenshire is nearing the same stage subject to a detailed review process.

The 4-house project in Dunblane is due to start on site in February and the Drummond House is ready to go to site once funds have been secured.

  Community Centre at Breaport
      June 2013

Busy Office
The large workload this Spring has meant a full house here in Dunblane! On some days there are four of us working on Locate or JV projects. Mark Dowey of Module Architects is working with Chris on a couple of projects while Sam Foster of Sam Foster Architects has been helping on the 4-house project in Dunblane, and Emma Donnelly has been been working on the New House at Claddens Holdings near Lenzie.

We continue to broaden and deepen our understanding of MVHR best practice. Chris attended an MVHR Masterclass organised by the Passivhaus Trust and is currently involved in testing a number of installed systems as part of his BPE work for MEARU. Together with Passivhaus Associates colleague Graham Drummond, we have been developing a more robust specification for future installations.

Chris has been mentoring a postgraduate student, Elena Pana from the University of Edinburgh who is developing an excellent technical thesis on overheating and thermal comfort in domestic bedrooms. Elana presented a paper on her thesis at this conference in London this September.

Project Progress
The extension to the Fisheries Clubhouse at the Lake of Menteith is now complete (see image above right), as is the refurbishment at Red Yetts. We’re working toward a Planning submission for Claddens Holdings and a Building warrant submission for the Stirling Eco-refurbishment and the Drummond House. An application has been submitted for the 4-house development in Dunblane.

New Projects
We’ve been appointed to work on another exciting refurbishment project at Tree Nursery House near Carnoustie and together with Sam Foster of Sam Foster Architects, we’re working on scheme for a new-build Passivhaus in beautiful, rural Aberdeenshire.

  Mentieth Fisheries Clubhouse

February 2013

part-time researcher
Formalising Chris's long standing interest in research and BPE (Building Performance Evaluation) he has been taken on to work part-time at the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) at the Glasgow School of Art or the 'Mac' after its famous Architect. Principal duties are to engage in a number of UK Gov't Technology Strategy Board funded BPE projects on recent low energy buildings around Scotland.

Also for MEARU, Chris has been asked to run a post-graduate elective in 'Energy, Comfort and Health' which reflects the main interests of MEARU, namely, balancing the urgency of the energy / carbon agenda with equally important but often overlooked concerns of comfort and health. In addition, Chris has been tutoring 4th and 5th year Architectural students since last September on a year's contract until the summer.

project progress
The Extension to the Fisheries Clubhouse at the Lake of Menteith is going up quickly, while work is nearly complete at Red Yetts. Two small extensions are being drawn up, planning permission has been granted for the eco-refurbishment in Stirling, and the land has finally been bought in Dunblane, meaning the 4-house development can now progress after considerable delays.

new projects
Chris has been appointed to work on another eco-refurbishment in Lenzie and another potential collaboration with Passivhaus Associates to design and build a domestic passivhaus near St. Andrews in Fife. More to follow in both cases!


  Eco-refurbishment in Stirling

October 2012

scottish parliament presentation
As part of the launch of the pan-European project NEES project (see January 2012 news), Locate were selected as the first exemplar service in Scotland delivering natural, energy efficient and sustainable advice and designs. Chris's reward was to be able to give a presentation about his work and practice to cross-party group of MSP's and others at the Scottish parliament, see right.

passivhaus open days
The certified passivhaus at Craigrothie in Fife will be open for three days again in November for those interested in seeing one of these ultra-low energy homes for themselves, click here or contact Graham Drummond at Passivhaus Associates or on 01334 470 703.

galson estate business centre wins award!
The Locate-designed business centre was the winner of this year's RICS Scotland Award under the Community Benefit Category, with the judges impressed both by the building and the level of community engagement with the project.

  Chris Morgan' presentation to the Scottish Parliament

August 2012

Two New Local Projects
Whilst its been a quieter than normal summer, we've picked up two new projects; alterations and an extension to a Steading building near Dunblane, and major alterations and energy efficiency upgrading to a large house in Stirling.

House Appraisals
Chris continues to undertake individual house appraisals to help people make the most of their property and make sensible decisions about upgrading and energy efficiency. He recently provided energy efficiency advice to the owner of a large Country House (pictured above) and is involved in ongoing guidance to ensure the recommendations are carried out properly.

Project Progress
Working with Module Architects, Planning permission has been gained for the Clubhouse Extension at the Lake of Menteith Fisheries and work is progressing well on the cottage renovation at Red Yetts. Progress has been slow on the 4-house development in Dunblane but it is hoped that final arrangements will be agreed this month (Sept '12)


April 2012

4-house passivhaus development
Locate have designed a group of 4 homes to be built in Dunblane which we hope will be passivhaus certified whilst also addressing a much wider sustainability remit. Planning permission has been granted and Building Warrant drawings are well underway (April 2012) alongside PhPP input.

mvhr and indoor air quality
Mvhr (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) is an integral part of passivhaus design, but almost certainly the most controversial aspect. Locate have spent a good deal of time investigating more deeply both the real and perceived risks of mvhr, and presented some of our conclusions at a recent conference at the Lighthouse in Glasgow organised by CICStart. This remains perhaps our most pressing research interest for new-build projects and we are hoping to integrate some form of research on this subject into the above passivhaus development.

hard to treat houses and solid walls
The experiment at Uist has been completed and the final report on the project available from Sustainable Uist . As part of the project, Chris was on TV explaining the benefits of airtightness (the glamour!) and will be presenting some of the results, along with his developing thoughts on energy efficient refurbishment, at the major solid wall insulation conference organised by Changeworks at the end of April.

panelling . . .
In March, Chris was part of a Design Panel for Architecture + Design Scotland which reviewed two major proposed tourism schemes within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Chris has also been asked to join the nascent Scottish Passivhaus Trust Advisory Group and attended the first formal meeting at the Lighthouse earlier in the month.

project progress
The straw bale self-build house on Mull has finally been submitted for Building Warrant so hopefully work can start on that this year. The Clubhouse extension at the Lake of Menteith Fisheries has been submitted to Planning while the cottage renovation at Red Yetts has received Building Warrant approval and should start on site in May. The 'Sustainability in Re-use' report for Architecture + Design is nearing completion and should be available soon, while we hope we will be able to continue our association with the former school at Glentrool in Dumfriesshire, more news to follow.


4-house passivhaus development


January 2012

sustainability in re-use
Towards the end of last year, Locate were appointed by Architecture + Design Scotland to prepare a report re-evaluating the potential of existing buildings for refurbishment and re-use. The report will be available in April 2012.

academic links
Chris has been asked to be involved in two interesting university based research proposals; a Brettstapel Research Network based around Napier University in Edinburgh, and a Northern Periphery Programme Project entitled 'NEES' - Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Existing Buildings, which involves a large number of institutions across Europe but the Scottish element is based at Glasgow Caledonian University.

In September last year, Chris attended a 'WUFI' training course in Glasgow. WUFI is a german dynamic hygrothermal modelling tool which allows the user to assess the likely thermal and moisture implications of various wall insulation or treatment strategies. The knowledge gained from this has been invaluable in helping develop a better understanding of issues in solid walled, 'Hard to Treat' houses.

talk talk
Chris was invited to give a talk in the "Practical Lecture" series for Engineering Scotland on Eco-housing, and followed that later in November with a presentation at the 5th annual SPABis (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in Scotland) Lectures in Edinburgh. On the same subject of upgrading older buildings, Chris is to speak at a large conference on Refurbishment organised by CICStart and hosted at Glasgow Caledonian University and to contribute a lecture on Sustainability and Older Buildings in March as part of the "Taking Care of Older Buildings Level 2" Course organised by David Martin, at the Trades Hall in Glasgow.

passivhaus investigations
Chris and others went to visit Scotland's largest passivhaus development at the Dormont Estate near Dumfries. Mindful of an imminent and similar development in Dunblane, we were interested in particular in the woodfuel heating system which is what we hope to do ourselves. We were very impressed with the project and warmly congratulate everyone involved on their achievement!

first certified passivhaus!
Chris Morgan and Graham Drummond of Passivhaus Associates celebrated the formal certification of their development at Craigrothie with a visit from Sir Menzies Campbell, local MP, who was impressed with the 'fabric first' approach. See image, above right.

  First Passivhaus Certificated