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Craite Barn, Highland

Craite Barn, Highland

Conversion of a Grade-B Listed Barn and adjoining slaughterhouse into three new dwellings.


There is an acute need for affordable rented housing in many parts of the Highlands. Housing provision faces difficulties of land availability, water supply and sewage treatment, and high construction costs. Additional supply may not always meet local needs, however, if allocation policies are applied without reference to the specific circumstances of remote communities. This small housing development, both new build and a conversion of a barn and slaughterhouse addresses local housing need directly through an innovative letting initiative, helping to sustain the local community. The housing also has a reduced environmental impact in an area of high landscape quality.


The dwellings have been designed to reduce their environmental impact and incorporate a variety of features.

The corrugated metal roofing consists of sinusoidal steel fixed to timber purlins with 80mm Rockwool insulation. There is Rockfall-insulated sarking over the rafters and 150mm rockwool between the trusses. All fixings are stainless steel and all separable for reuse.

The timber beams in the 1.5 storey houses are glulaminated with a steel post and beam assembly to provide lateral stability at the centre of each house. The untreated timber cladding was specified as home grown European larch but there is also some local Douglas fir.

There is no paint to the cladding or masonry, and the windows and fascia's are painted with water based paints. Lime render has been applied to the former slaughterhouse.

Heating is provided by Morso wood burning stoves and electric storage heaters.

Craite Barn



SAP Rating

75 (average)

Carbon emission

2 tonnes/new build unit/annum, 2.4 tonnes/rehab unit/annum (estimated)


Roof: 0.17 (slate), 0.17 (metal) Wm2C

Walls: 0.26(stone), 0.25(timber) Wm2C

Floors 0.21 Wm2C


Albyn’s allocation policy is designed to ensure equal opportunities, but if applied irrespective of local circumstances could pose a threat to the sustainability and character of remote communities in scenically attractive areas. In co-operation with the local community, Albyn developed a local lettings initiative designed to ensure that the housing provided met local need. The main criterion agreed with the community was to identify people with a local connection living in unsatisfactory conditions. A post occupancy evaluation has confirmed that the housing has met local needs and ensured the continuing availability of labour for local businesses.


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