R-Affordable House, Lochaline, Scotland

The R-Affordable House project brings together contemporary design, socially-responsible construction and high performance building products – including VELFAC glazing - to deliver ‘a quality affordable house, filled with light, economical to run and using sustainable materials in an innovative way’.

R-Affordable House with VELFAC windows located in Lochaline, Scotland
Photo: Nigel Rigden

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The project, driven by Roderick James of Roderick James Architects, also demonstrates the employment potential of ex-offenders who built the home with the help of construction professionals. The result is a socially-driven, affordable and architecturally distinctive housebuilding model which Roderick hopes can be replicated across the UK.

Roderick had specified VELFAC for many previous projects and was keen to use the system again at the R-Affordable House: ‘We like the quality of the composite construction - the slim frame with the inner wooden profile combined with the external aluminium to deliver a stylish, low maintenance design,’ he comments.

‘Customer service is also very important,’ he adds. ‘We have always found VELFAC after-care to be very efficient, and this means we can specify the system with confidence.’ By installing VELFAC, Roderick also shows that ‘affordability’ does not have to mean inferior quality: ‘We have installed VELFAC in a number of prestige projects, but the R-Affordable House demonstrates that the same quality can be specified for homes deliberately designed to be affordable to build, to buy and to run.’

Photos: Nigel Rigden

The single storey, detached, timber-framed home overlooks the Sound of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. Featuring unusual white-rendered tapering walls, under a grey slate roof, the home comprises an open plan living area flanked by bedrooms, with gallery space in the eaves.

VELFAC glazing underlines the architectural quality of the build while also maximising natural light. In the living area, a run of five VELFAC patio doors frame a stunning view of the Sound and for the windswept location, triple-glazed units met Roderick’s thermal efficiency targets.

Large windows are also feature of both bedrooms, with smaller punch hole units installed across side and Northerly rear facades. Internal pine VELFAC frames are finished in a clear lacquer, complementing timber door frames and a textured interior of white-painted wooden walls and floors. External aluminium frames are finished in pale grey, adding contemporary style to the traditionally inspired exterior.

With help from ex-offender charity The Oswin Project, R-Affordable House was built over a year, with supervision from Roderick James Architects, and is now a family home.


Sector: Affordable home

Architect: Roderick James Architects

Photos: Nigel Rigden

Specified for:

  • Slim frame – more daylight
  • Quality construction and finish
  • Low maintenance design
  • Sustainability
  • Excellent customer service