Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has teamed up with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) in an effort to improve social housing in Scotland.
The partnership aims to use innovation to increase the affordability, sustainability, quality and supply of social housing north of the Border.
Housing associations – the main providers or new-build social and affordable accommodation in Scotland – face challenges such as combatting an industry-wide construction skills shortage, addressing fuel poverty, meeting new fire safety standards and providing suitable housing for an ageing population.
The tie-up between the two organisations will deliver a supporting programme of activities that responds to these needs and benefits SFHA members. These will include providing support with maintenance and asset management, creating a “housing innovation community” for knowledge sharing and holding an event for the housing association sector at CSIC’s innovation factory.
Rohan Bush, head of public partnerships and future workforce at CSIC, said: “I imagine a Scotland where the people responsible for the future of housing and the people who actually build the houses collaborate and innovate together.
“In this vision, new-build social housing is even more energy efficient, and fuel bills are low due to the high quality and affordability of low carbon and sustainable building methods.
“Waste is segregated using smart sensor technology and materials are delivered at the right time to avoid damages and defects.
“The launch of this strategic partnership between the SFHA and CSIC aims to make this vision of collaboration and innovation a reality.”
SFHA chief executive Sally Thomas added: “SFHA members – housing associations and co-operatives – have an enviable track record of innovation but there has never been a more important time to articulate and demonstrate the benefits of innovation in social housing in areas such as cost, quality, safety and energy efficiency.
“A key element of the partnership is the “Home of the Future Innovation and Future Thinking” programme, which is bringing the housing and construction sectors, and others, together to create a vision of future living.”
A series of collaborative innovation projects is already underway to develop and test new ideas, approaches and models for the programme.