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HousingScot An independent publication from canongate.org

Distributed with The Times Scotland 14 March 2017



The Furnishing Service spreads its wings


Achieving a Resource Efficient Scotland

Albyn building homes fit for the future

Designing for dementia


The Scottish VR breakthrough that could transform lives

The battery that stores renewable energy


housingscot The Furnishing Service

14 March 2017

Housing Scot

about TFS l The company employs 153 staff, including 15 modern apprentices, in branches throughout Scotland providing a wide range of services which include:

An independent publication by Canongate Communications


l The supply and fit of furnishings, white goods, flooring and window coverings


l A storage and removal service


l A cleaning service including needle sweep and trauma clean


l Portable appliance testing


l A comprehensive re-cycling service



Will Peakin 0131 561 7364 will@futurescot.com DEPUTY EDITOR

Kevin O’Sullivan 0131 561 7364 kevin@futurescot.com ADVERTISING

Vincenzo Veglia 0131 561 7305 vincenzo@canongate.org PUBLISHER

Hamish Miller 0131 561 7344 hamish@canongate.org Canongate Communications

Creative Exchange 29 Constitution Street Edinburgh, EH6 7BS www.canongate.org DESIGN & PRODUCTION

Palmer Watson www.palmerwatson.com Typography:

Expresso and Flama from Feliciano Type Foundry www.felicianotypefoundry.com Cover picture: Courtesy of Oculus

HousingScot is an independent publication by Canongate Communications distributed in The Times Scotland. All rights reserved. Neither this publication or part of it may be stored, reproduced or transmitted, electronically, photocopied or recorded without prior permission of the Publisher. Heathrow is published and exclusively distributed in The Times Scotland. We verify information to the best of our ability but do not accept responsibility for any loss for reliance on any content published. If you wish to contact us, please include your full name and address with a contact telephone number.

Supporting the private sector to do good With community benefit at its core a pioneering initiative is extending its services By William Peakin The property market is set to benefit from the entry of a service provider that combines quality with social impact. The Furnishing Service (TFS), Scotland’s largest supplier of furnishings, white goods and flooring, is seeking new markets in private sector housing. TFS was founded in 1995 with a view to providing a one-stop service to customers specifically in social housing, and it currently works exclusively in the public sector providing services to 19 local authorities in Scotland. But it is now expanding its offer to letting agencies, house builders, care homes, universities and colleges and student accommodation providers. With its head office in East Kilbride, and facilities in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, TFS employs more than 150 people and undertake works throughout Scotland. As an organisation, its

core business is to assist vulnerable individuals to improve the quality of their living accommodation and to enhance where possible their life chances. “We have a very strong ethos,” said managing director Randle Wilson. “We take a huge pride in the community development programme we run throughout Scotland,” said managing director Randle Wilson. “The funding used, particularly via the Scottish Government to support vulnerable people, provides a dual opportunity in that we create employment opportunities in tandem with the provision of our housing services to vulnerable individuals. “The community benefits programme ensures that The Furnishing Service is a very different organisation from many of our commercial competitors and we believe this sets us above other organisations who place less emphasis on the social renewal of communities in which they operate.” Its main market focus as an organisation is working within the Scottish Government’s welfare reform framework - 90% of its business is linked to the provision of housing services to vulnerable people who are

Randle Wilson receiving the Business Partner of the Year award with Sanderson High School either in receipt of a Community Care Grant or who reside in temporary accommodation, provided by the local authority. Threaded throughout its business objectives is a commitment to community benefits across all contracts. TFS has developed a robust employability strategy which encapsulates a multi-agency approach to employability within local communities, targeting a diverse group of individuals who require varying degrees of support to access employment opportunities. In the last three years, it has recruited more than 70 new staff, across Scotland and focussed on vulnerable groups, in a variety of disciplines, via the community benefits programme; recruited 15 modern apprentices; provided over 7,000 hours of work experience for a variety of diverse groups; and delivered a bespoke work experience programme for young people with additional support needs. “Many of the end users of our service are vulnerable individuals who have encountered significant challenges throughout their lives, therefore our staff are required to be empathetic in the delivery of our service.,” said Wilson. “As an organisation, we deliver a comprehensive community benefits

“We take a huge pride in the community development programme we run throughout Scotland”

programme which encapsulates a number of employability initiatives including; modern apprenticeships, work experience programmes for young people from vulnerable backgrounds, school pupils, long term adult unemployed and young people with additional support needs.” Rather go down the traditional route of direct job advertising it has developed an employability strategy that focusses on vulnerable adults and young people to give them the chance to enter the world of work. TFS worked with partners, including Job Centre Plus, and education social work services. This strategy has allowed it to deliver more than 11,000 hours of work experience and to recruit new staff, including 15 carpet fitting apprentices, many of whom had experienced homelessness or other issues including mental health problems. TFS is a Scottish Living Wage employer as well as being Investors in People and Investors in Young People Gold accredited. Environmental considerations are embedded; TFS uplifts and recycles products that it is replacing, a result of which it has diverted more than 400 tons of product from landfill since 2013. The company recycles 100% of its own waste. It also insists its supply chain conforms to and meets the highest environmentally friendly practices. Suppliers’ environmental practices are audited annually to ensure they remain compliant. A new website launches soon, with full e-commerce capability, and in the coming months, private sector clients will be able to access the same high levels of products and services that has earned TFS its high reputation within the public sector. “For us, this is a strategic decision to grow and remain sustainable,” said Wilson. “But, the more successful we are the wider the community benefits will be - and private sector clients can know that they are contributing to the public good.”

Randle Wilson


Zero Waste Scotland

14 March 2017

Housing, yes, but built in the right way There is an urgent need for circular thinking at all stages of the housing build By Caroline Gray There is no denying that we are in real need for housing in Scotland. We know that the Scottish Government has committed to build 50,000 affordable homes by 2020/21, and that our existing housing stock requires a sustained focus on retrofit to ensure progress towards our national carbon reduction targets. However, we also know that the construction sector in Scotland produced over four million tonnes of waste in 2014; 44% of the country’s total, making it the single largest waste producer in Scotland. What’s more, the range of composite materials and complex products being installed in buildings now means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to reuse, recycle or repair elements at end of life. By changing our construction practices now, to fully consider the end of life impact of the products we choose, we stand a better chance to increase recycling rates in the future. This waste can be avoided

An average three-bedroomed house can produce up to 13 tonnes of construction waste. If demolition and excavation waste is included, this can rise to 20 tonnes. At around £250 to £500 per unit produced this could easily add up to a £4-8m cost to the housing sector, based on the 16,111 completions in Scotland in 2015. That’s a lot of money to be thrown away, not to mention the lost reuse value of overordered materials. With many people finding it increasingly difficult to afford a property of their own, any potential savings are a good reason to take this on board. The Resource Efficient House was delivered by Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland. The build produced less than five tonnes of construction waste, and less than one tonne went to landfill making it a good example of waste saving potential. If replicated, this could go some way to reducing Scotland’s construction waste to landfill, whilst reaping financial gains for house builders through efficient ordering to avoid waste in the first place, or through sale of leftover materials for extra revenue. It is wrong to think that the journey

ends once the house is built. For those who have a responsibility for the repair and maintenance, such as a housing association, then the business case for considering waste goes beyond handing over the keys. For housing associations, it is clearly in their interest to make sure that the building is easy and cost-effective to maintain, materials used are durable and robust, and are reusable and recoverable when they reach the end of their life. This engrained approach to energy and resource efficiency, as well as the focus on prolonging the life of materials and products, can help deliver housing which is not only sustainable to build but also sustainable to run; a win-win situation for both buyers and tenants. We must rethink waste in housing to focus on prevention, reuse and make the procurement of recycled materials the norm. Our ‘Designing Out Construction Waste Guide’ provides practical solutions for each stage of the process. To help even further we can offer free ‘designing out waste’ workshops and onsite opportunity assessments for SMEs, which can help dramatically reduce construction costs and consider how to include deconstruction and adaptability into designs and product choices. But it’s not just the financial rewards; by builders being more efficient and encouraging the supply chain to do the same, we can all have a real impact on the communities in which we operate. Delivering community benefits

Within public sector contracts there’s an inbuilt requirement to deliver community benefit, but this hasn’t yet filtered through in force to the marketled housing sector in the same way.

“We must rethink the waste issue in housing to focus on waste prevention, reuse and make the procurement of recycled materials the norm”

housingscot 3

zero waste Scotland statistics l The construction and built environment sector is the biggest user of materials in Scotland (around 50% of all inputs). l It also generates nearly half of all Scottish waste (4.2Mt annually). l An average threebedroomed house can produce up to 13 tonnes of construction waste. l If demolition and excavation waste is included, this can rise to 20 tonnes. l The cost of waste is between £250-£500 per unit built.

The Resource Efficient House, BRE Innovation Park, Ravenscraig This is a missed opportunity because adding those benefits can not only help to support planning permissions, it can also have a positive impact on the workforce, on customers and on the communities in which companies are building. Training staff, and those within the supply chain for larger construction firms, will in time embed these skills throughout the industry. The Resource Efficient Scotland support and advice service is something that can help companies achieve this. Using social enterprises and supported businesses to divert resources is also becoming a trusted way to have a positive impact and avoid waste disposal costs. For example, Community RePaint is a network of schemes that collects leftover paint from the trade for a low-cost. This paint is then sold on to individuals and community projects or social housing at minimal cost to them. Finding local suppliers and social enterprises to support building can also deliver crucial support to them in getting a new product or service to market. By seeking them out to give them business, companies can in turn support local entrepreneurs and help the local economy. There are numerous opportunities to explore reused, reclaimed and recycled products for all parts of the construction process right the way up to the fit-out stage. The reuse consortium created by Community Resources Network Scotland (CRNS) is a good example of how this is being delivered in scale. The consortium comprises 17 accredited furniture reuse members who support 24 local authority areas in providing 34 key household items, including essentials such as beds, sofas, tables and chairs, cookers, fridges and washing machines. Glasgow Wood Recycling,

a CRNS member, also collects timber from construction sites and remanufactures it into new products. The CRNS members have at their core a determination to reduce waste and to create real social, environmental and economic benefits at community level. These sorts of approaches are transformational; they change the mindset of needing new. If we can change the mindset on things like paint and furniture, which are visible, we can certainly change the mindset on concrete and fit-out. What to expect in the future

One trend is the switch to offsite manufacturing, where a significant amount of the build takes place in a factory and is then transferred to site. This strategy was used in the build of the Resource Efficient House, and was a major contributor in achieving the 70% waste savings. Not only does this help reduce onsite waste, but leftover materials can also be stored for future projects and materials are less prone to damage in a warehouse environment. This approach has a lot of social benefits too. Too often, tradespeople working on site are travelling from region to region, far from home. Creating a hub of skilled workers in a specific location will help to build stronger working relationships between those workers, increasing trust and respect across the supply chain, and delivering an enhanced sense of wellbeing for all those involved. Importantly, the savings made from reducing travel, waste and procurement can also be passed on in terms of better pay and conditions. Ultimately, it’s by engaging and empowering the workforce throughout the entire supply chain that we will be able to improve building processes and tackle the problem of how materials

and buildings can be made recyclable and recoverable at end of life. We must stop creating a problem for future generations and to do this we must invest in the skills and commitment needed to make Scotland truly zero waste. Ready to make an impact?

Resource Efficient Scotland is a programme of Zero Waste Scotland. It provides fully funded Government support for all construction SMEs. Its Advice and Support team can help you become more efficient by reducing waste and resources. Support is available for projects at all phases of the construction process, and includes: l Onsite opportunity assessments: reuse and waste prevention site walkovers, supply chain partnerships, designing out waste workshops. l Detailed opportunity assessments: in depth business case and implementation support, and problem material analysis. l Capital grant funding and loans: for those who have been through the opportunity assessment process. l Training: employee training (e.g. opportunity assessment shadowing), technical workshops, and web tools. We can help you improve your processes, sell more, save money and have a positive impact on the community. Find out more by contacting the team today on 0808 808 2268 or find out more about available support and upcoming events at: resourceefficientscotland.com/ Caroline Gray is sector manager for construction at Zero Waste Scotland. Designing Out Construction Waste Guide http://www.resourceefficientscotland. com/resource/designing-out-construction-waste-guide


housingscot Albyn Housing

14 March 2017

The ‘Fit Homes’ project, a groundbreaking joint venture between Albyn Housing, Carbon Dynamic and NHS Highland using digital technology, big data and Internet of Things infrastructure

Creating a fairer, wealthier and healthier society The Highlands’ leading housing association is redefining what it means to be an RSL By William Peakin It’s hard to design products by focus groups, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said in 1998 after the launch of the iMac. He added: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” It is an insight that Calum Macaulay, chief executive of Albyn Housing Society, uses to explain the organisation’s journey from a traditional housing association to being both a community asset that continually strives to understand the needs of its customers and a provider of innovative services. Macaulay acknowledges that per-

ceptions of housing associations can be confused; are they public entities or private, or a bit of both? “But I try not to spend too much time worried about perceptions. What we like to focus on is quality; good houses, good tenancies, good services. That quote from Jobs; you look at the iPhone and how, before it was unveiled, people didn’t know how good and transformative a mobile phone could be - it’s about having the confidence to offer leadership which, in our case, means working with communities to see how things can be different. “The Scottish housing association movement has, for many, years felt misunderstood. Often it is reported that the public don’t know who we are and what we do. Politicians appear to have struggled over the years to decide if we are public bodies or private businesses. Yet, we keep moving forward with a strong commitment to our tenants, their communities and our

capacity to address social inequality and poor quality housing through investment, innovation and engagement. Since its inception, Albyn has

worked alongside communities to help them gain a clearer understanding of how its housing plays a role in meeting their wider concerns, interests and needs. “In doing so, we have found that those communities often have a better understanding of what will help sustain and support them to succeed, and even how to make best use of their own resources,” said Macaulay. “Now, communities have much greater access to funding and can use this to build their own homes through bodies such as development trusts. Housing associations can therefore offer skills, expertise and resources to complement communities in the successful delivery of their own projects.” Over the years, Albyn has also

worked in very close partnership with large scale public bodies, such as the NHS and social work, in creating homes for residents with long-term disabilities. This work has now begun to find a new form that reflects the changing pressure points in the health and social care systems. Like many innovative ideas, Albyn’s journey into this field was triggered by crisis; a tenant who died in their home and lay undiscovered for over a year. “In trying to learn lessons from such trauma, we began to develop primary market research, with academic institutions. This helped us to develop an understanding of people’s desire to remain in their own communities, rather than be hospitalised or placed in a care-home, when illness, accident or old age intervenes. Further research told us how people relate to IT and what forms of IT would help people to remain in their own communities,” said Macaulay.

It came to a head when Albyn supported one of his colleagues to attend an entrepreneurial development programme at MIT in Boston, supported by the enterprise agency Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and met the managing director of a volumetric house builder with a factory close to Albyn’s head office. “We’re less than a mile apart, but it took this chance encounter on the other side of the Atlantic to begin the journey that brings us to where we are today,” said Macaulay. The result is its ‘Fit Homes’ project, a ground-breaking joint venture between Albyn Housing, Carbon Dynamic and NHS Highland which is developing a sustainable solution using digital technology, big data and Internet of Things infrastructure. “Where previously, the registered social landlord’s role was simply to provide affordable rented housing,” said Macaulay. “Now we play a leading role in developing new models and services

Albyn Housing

14 March 2017

housingscot 5

Fit Homes: a concept with global significance The Society’s Head of Innovation, Lucy Fraser, has formed a likeminded collaboration with NHS Highland’s director of research, development and innovation, Professor Angus JM Watson and Matt Stevenson, Managing Director of Carbon Dynamic. Together they have developed an entirely new concept of living, encompassing not just the actual home but also cuttingedge assistive technology. Built of modular construction, the ‘fit home’ will host various levels of sensor equipment enabling the capture of data and associated predictive health analytics which could potentially help prevent episodes or events leading to ill health. It will also include flexible spaces and walls for storing medical equipment. Developed through co-design with partners, potential tenants, health and care professionals, young people and enterprise experts, it will provide the solution Albyn originally sought whilst enabling the NHS to support more people at home, with the potential to prevent hospital admissions and enable hospital discharge. Speaking of the project, Lucy said: “The central concept of the homes is that they will include ambient social,

that can support community cohesion, sustainability and growth. This takes resources and talent, as well as the highest levels of innovation and collaboration across public, private and third sectors. Housing associations in Scotland now play an irreplaceable role in supporting a fairer, wealthier and healthier society and leading the fight against poverty, inequality and social exclusion.” The first components for the first

16 ‘Fit Homes’ are currently being made in Carbon Dynamic’s factory and will be on site – at Dalmore in Alness – in early summer. One of the homes will be used as a base from which to provide services to residents and a communal meeting point for the new residents. Albyn is also working with the local school on a project to support integration with the wider community. Under the city regions deal, Albyn is being funded to build 32 more Fit Homes on around five sites, the first of which will be linked with a local care home and GP that are focussed on providing innovative health services. Another project, for injured ex-service personnel is in the pipeline. And earlier this month, Albyn drew done £30m in funding from a pension fund after going to the market before Christmas to pitch form investment. “We are in place to carry out a very ambitious development programme,” said Macaulay.

Data science to identify fall risks “We keep moving forward with a strong commitment to our tenants, their communities and our capacity to address social inequality and poor quality housing through investment, innovation and engagement” Calum Macaulay

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has also partnered with Albyn, Carbon Dynamic and NHS Highland in the Fit Homes project – to identify behaviours linked to increased fall risk, by analysing data collected from sensors in the houses. With falls currently costing the NHS more than £2bn and four million bed days each year, it is hoped the resulting system will help residents live well and independently in their homes for longer, prevent hospital admissions and even enable early discharge. “We’ll use data from embedded sensors to capture activities and behaviours within the home and provide alerts when these indicate an increased risk of falling.” said Professor Susan Craw, the artificial intelligence expert at RGU leading this research. “This project is an excellent example of the ways that artificial intelligence is beginning to be used to benefit individuals through applications with a social purpose.” Gillian Docherty, chief executive of The Data Lab, which has provided £100,000 to fund the research, added: “Partnerships like this help retain home-grown talent and help Scotland to cement its place as a leader in data science development worldwide.”

physiological and building sensors to collect data that can be monitored and responded to by a variety of agencies – potentially transforming the way health and social care is delivered. “The collaboration includes potential residents, doctors, nurses, therapists, health and social care managers, technologists, enterprise executives – anyone who can offer experience, expertise and insight to ensure this project results in a sustainable and successful model for the future. “We also hope to develop the homes as a social enterprise opportunity to generate revenue for reinvestment into our communities and services. We believe the concept has global significance, so we are very excited for the future.” The pilot phase – 16 homes at Dalmore in Alness, Ross-shire - will provide proof of concept. The project concepts are being supported by a Scottish Government housing grant and funding from the InvernessHighland City Region Deal, whilst researchers at the University of the Highlands and Islands will develop the proof of concept research with financial support from the Digital Health and Care Institute.

A modular construction, sensors will enable predictive health analytics

Albyn Housing: a focus on customer service Albyn Housing Society, a Scottish charity, has delivered affordable housing for rent and home-ownership since 1973. It serves more than 60 communities across the Highlands. Albyn has 3,000 rented homes, and a programme to build 500 or more over the next five years. Over the decades, it has built many hundreds of homes for sale, both shared-ownership and shared-equity, and delivers the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy and Open Market Shared Equity programmes. Over the past three years Albyn has restructured to give a greater focus on customer service, and it continues to build upon its best practice approach to customer engagement. Staff are given responsibility for specific properties, allowing them to develop strong relationships with tenants. Its recent staff satisfaction survey showed increasingly high levels of approval of Albyn and its services division as employers. It has an ambitious new-build programme

planned in conjunction with strategic partners, the Highland Council and the Scottish Government, helping to deliver on their targets for new affordable homes across the region. Albyn has built a factoring team in subsidiary Highland Residential (Inverness) Ltd, delivering services to hundreds of owner-occupiers in its own developments and the service is now picking up new contracts through private developers. It has a growing portfolio of homes for midmarket rent, including properties Albyn Housing has built specifically for this growing market. And it has an innovation team based in subsidiary Albyn Enterprises Ltd, which has won around £1.5m for information and advice services delivered across Highland by a consortium of agencies. The team has led the work on the groundbreaking Fit Homes project to help address the challenges posed to many public services, including health and social care, by an increasingly aging rural population.


housingscot SUNAMP

14 March 2017

Tackling fuel poverty through innovation A breakthrough energy device is now in nearly 1,000 homes across the Lothians Retired couple John and Margaret Murphy enjoyed a visit from Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse to their 2-bed terraced home in Newtongrange. Interested to find out more about how Sunamp’s new technology is working for them, he dropped in as part of a visit to mark the successful completion of a unique project that is now cutting fuel costs for over 2000 residents across Edinburgh and the Lothians, made possible with £3.2m funding from Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund (LECF). The EastHeat project, a collaboration with Castle Rock Edinvar, East Lothian Housing Association and Sunamp, saw solar panels and heat storage batteries installed in nearly 1,000 Castle Rock Edinvar and East Lothian Housing Association properties last year. It is estimated that gas and electricity fuel costs will be cut by at least £120,000 per year across the project, and homes fitted with Sunamp’s heat storage batteries will benefit from up to £300 savings on hot water and heating bills each year. Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “This innovative project uses solar panels and heat storage batteries to cut fuel costs for hundreds of housing association residents. I am pleased to see the first part of this novel scheme reach completion here in Newtongrange and I wish Sunamp and Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse with (L-R) Andrew Bissell, Sunamp chief executive, Mr and Mrs Murphy and Richard Jennings, Castle Rock Edinvar managing director

the very best of fortune as their work to use innovation in energy storage to reduce fuel poverty continues.” Sunamp Heat Batteries efficiently store heat energy using low-cost, off-peak electricity, or ‘free’ electricity from Solar PV. They release the heat when needed to provide hot water or home heating, all without the need for an immersion heater or hot water tank. They provide a unique and valuable bridge between legacy heating systems,

using gas boilers, and zero-carbon heat from solar and heat pumps. The non-toxic heat batteries use a novel phase-change material developed with the University of Edinburgh to store three to four times more heat than hot water tanks of the same size. Sunamp chief executive Andrew Bissell said: “We are super-excited that we’ve been able to work with our partners including Scottish Government, Local Energy Scotland,

Together, we’re ‘Making Homes and Lives Better’ At Wheatley, Scotland’s leading housing, care and propertymanagement group, we’re helping the people we work for to get online by providing free internet and computer access at our network of Click&Connect centres.

Castle Rock Edinvar and East Lothian Housing Association to develop and deliver the world’s most advanced heat battery energy storage into nearly 1,000 homes, increasing comfort and reducing bills. One of the aims of this project is to make sure it is replicable. We already have interested social landlords across the country who want to bring the benefits of heat batteries to their own tenants. We look forward to working with them.”

To find out more call 01875610001 www.sunamp.co.uk

cover story

14 March 2017




Unconsidered design without dementia: A standard healthcare setting design from the point of view of someone without dementia. The signage appears at eye level which is difficult to see for someone who has poor neck muscles and doesn’t understand they need to look up. The bedside light is not easily recognisable as a light.

Unconsidered design with dementia: A standard healthcare setting design from the point of view of someone with dementia. The neutral tones appear bland and potentially indistinguishable for someone living with dementia; for example, the bed becomes more difficult to distinguish from the floor and wall, which is a potential falls risk.

Dementia-friendly without dementia: Note the use of contrasting colours to give shape and definition to objects. Signage has been moved to lower than eye level to help with better wayfaring. Items such as bedside lamps and clocks are familiar, recognisable and homely. Pictures on wall also give the room structure.

Dementia-friendly with dementia: Note how the use of contrasting colours keep the proportions and items in the rooms more distinct. The bed now appears easily distinguishable and recognisable because of the strong contrast wall.




New VR platform that could improve the lives of people with dementia Technology can be used in design of care homes, hospitals and sheltered housing By William Peakin High up in Glasgow’s Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for design and architecture, and I’m invited to put on a virtual reality headset and take hold of a controller. I’m entering a residential development designed for people living with dementia. A push forward on the control stick and I walk through a living area, look into a bathroom and then open patio doors out onto a communal garden. The experience is revelatory; a world of visual subtleties that could transform the way buildings and environments are designed. I’m shown how contrasts can be important, to better define spatial borders. Without them, the edge of a bed can merge with the surface of a floor. Colours too; a red bezel for hot, blue for cold. Simple design cues that used to be standard but have been too casually discarded. Sometimes though, a proliferation of colours can confuse; for example, outside, paving stones of a different hue might suggest to someone with dementia a step when there is none. And then, off-stage a switch is thrown by my guide, and I see this same environment through the eyes

of someone living with dementia. Suddenly, my peripheral vision is much darker and all those visual signals which have been carefully pointed out by my guides become so much more important. It is then that I begin to understand the stress that can be caused by a lack visual certainty and a horizon that is significantly dimmed. It is why a combination of expertise in architectural design, mental health and virtual reality has resulted in a technology that it is hoped will significantly benefit people living with dementia. The designers of the ‘virtual reality empathy platform’ (VR-EP) say that it could improve the layout of care homes, hospitals and sheltered housing, as well as assist in the assessment of existing buildings and environments. People living with dementia can see things very differently, with objects often appearing hazier and less colourful, which can cause confusion and distress. The technology’s developers say that it allows building designers to experience how dementia affects vision, so that they can create spaces better suited to people living with the condition. They believe that creating homely and familiar environments could reduce accidents, lessen anxiety and help those living with dementia live more inclusive and independent lives. More than 800,000 people in the UK are living with the condition and this is expected to rise to 1.7m by 2051.

Dementia costs the UK economy £26.3bn per year, more than cancer and heart disease combined. Poor dementia care in hospitals is estimated to result in an additional cost to the NHS of more than £260m a year. In 2013/14 falls in hospital of people with dementia were estimated to cost the NHS at least £15.9m. By using VR-EP the risks can be more easily identified and ‘designed out’. “One of the biggest challenges for researchers, trainers and consultants in dementia design, is how you convey the experience of the environment for people living with dementia,” said Professor Mary Marshall, senior con-

“Imagine being able to see through another person’s eyes and influence design that can positively impact their life” David Burgher

sultant at HammondCare’s Dementia Centre. “This device has the potential to be immensely beneficial for researchers, commissioners, architects and interior designers, and many other professionals in this field.” It is the brainchild of David Burgher,

director at Borders-based Aitken Turnbull Architects, who developed it with HammondCare, a leader in dementia support, and Glasgow-based computer generated imagery company Wireframe Immersive. “It’s a revolutionary new platform. Imagine being able to see the world through another person’s eyes, and use that information to influence design that can positively impact their life. “At Aitken Turnbull we have many years of experience in designing buildings for the elderly and for people living with dementia and have gained valuable insight into the condition, allowing us to empathise with those who live with it,” said Burgher. “As well as reducing anxiety, the improved design offers a better, safer and more independent quality of life,” he said. “Dementia-friendly design doesn’t have to cost more. In fact, by using VR-EP, designers will get it right first time and therefore reduce costs.” The VR-EP product comprises a laptop with high performance graphic and memory capability, a VR headset, a games controller, camera and bespoke software programming. It

was developed with £50,000 of funding from Scottish Enterprise. With support from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and Scottish Development International, Aitken Turnbull Architects and Wireframe Immersive are aiming to export the technology to Europe, China and the United States. “VR-EP is leading edge technology being developed by Scottish companies and a fantastic example of how virtual reality can be used to improve quality of life,” said Kevin Gordon, business development manager at Wireframe Immersive. The scale of dementia and its associated costs is colossal, not just in the UK but across the globe. VR-EP could also be adapted to simulate other sensory impairments and be used across a spectrum of disorders, so its potential is enormous.” David McHoul, innovation specialist at Scottish Enterprise added: “This project is another great example of Scotland’s strengths in innovation and our support will help develop this ground-breaking dementia design and empathy platform to service a patient group which is globally under-serviced. Initial research shows there is a strong demand for this product on an international scale and the VR-EP device will make a profound impact in improving the environment for those living with dementia.” http://vr-ep.com/

Registers of Scotland

Registers of Scotland (RoS) is the non-ministerial government department responsible for compiling and maintaining 18 public registers. These relate to land, property, and other legal documents. Our main registers are the Land Register of Scotland and the General Register of Sasines.

Our Services

Essential work

Registers Direct

Our registers ensure that every property in Scotland is protected for its owners, which in turn enables confident land and property transactions. Such a stable land registration system is recognised by the World Bank as underpinning the Scottish economy.

Our history Our origins can be traced back to the 13th century, when the first land inventory was housed in Edinburgh Castle. 2017 is a landmark year for the Registers of Scotland. On June 28 we’re celebrating a mammoth 400 years of the world’s oldest national public land register, the General Register of Sasines.

Registers Direct is a powerful tool that gives you information from the land and property, personal and other registers. Developed for people who need fast, frequent access to data, Registers Direct allows you to search a wide range of registers, including: n Land Register n Sasine Register n Register of Deeds / Books of Council and Session n Register of Judgments n Register of Inhibitions and Adjudications n Land Register property prices n Copy deeds n Register of Community Interests in Land n Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

No subscription fees

There are no set-up or subscription fees for Registers Direct, nor do you need any special software. The service is internet based, so delivers data direct to your desktop and you only pay for the information you search for. To apply for a Registers Direct account, please visit www.ros.gov.uk. You can also call our online services team, or email eservices@ros.gov.uk.

Development plan approval (DPA)

Development plan approval (DPA) is a free service that ensures that any title extent issues for new developments are identified before the application stage for individual plots. The service compares the digital plan for a development against the registered title. It confirms that the external boundaries of a development fall wholly within the developer’s registered land. DPA doesn’t affect people’s rights or responsibilities in relation to land, and it is not an early registration service. “DPA is one of the key tools in the arsenal of any plot sales solicitor.” - Jill Andrew, Shoosmiths. You can change your development layout as many times as necessary before you submit any applications for registration of deeds affecting the development, such as plot sales. New layout drawings should be submitted to the keeper as soon as possible. If you decide to change the development

layout after the submission of applications for registration, provided the changes don’t affect the applications already submitted, the plan will be reapproved. If the new layout affects the applications already submitted, you may need to undertake more conveyancing before the new plan can be approved. Over 100 different developers, large and small, already use development plan approval. So far the service has helped hundreds of developments go to plan.

DPA Requirements

For all DPA applications, we require that: There is a registered land register title or pending land register application for the land that the DPA application affects. If the title is not yet registered you can apply for a voluntary registration. DPA cannot be completed against a sasine recorded title. Applications provide digital data that is geo-referenced to the British National Grid (OSGB 1936). Applicants present the digital drawings in a structured or layered manner to allow the keeper to extract the relevant information; for example development extent, legal extent of house plots, common areas androads. Applicants provide a .pdf file of the layout to use as a visual representation.

Deed approval

The next stage after DPA, this free service confirms draft deeds are suitable for registration. Deed approval is a free service for developments with DPA. It involves an examination of draft deed styles before they are submitted for registration. You will need DPA before you can apply for deed approval. You should submit deeds to us as soon as possible after you receive DPA. Deed approval enables us to identify any potential registration issues at an early stage. This speeds up the registration process and minimises the likelihood of your registration application being rejected.


You will need to submit, if available: n a draft copy of your proposed deed of conditions n styles for house plot dispositions n any other deeds that will be common to the development If there’s more than one house plot style, you should provide a version for each style used.

Data Services

We provide data reports, bespoke services and information about land and property transactions and statistics in Scotland. Our bespoke reports are tailored to fit your requirements. Typical examples of bespoke reports include: n house price statistics by geographical area in Scotland or price ranges - you can also specify time periods n postcode district/sector reports n local authority area and registration county boundary reports n constituency reports n commercial sales reports n creditor market share, showing volumes of securities per lender over a specific period n creditor/FAS number reports showing details of applications submitted by a specific lender or firm of solicitors and the status of those applications - we can only offer this service to the specific lender or firm of solicitors involved n data matching reports - Our Customers A wide range of organisations depend on us for data critical to their business operations and public service functions. Our customers include: n academia n assessors n central government n construction companies n environmental organisations n estate agents n financial services providers n the general public n house price websites n local authorities n the media n market researchers n property developers n solicitors n statistics providers n surveyors

To find out more about our products, services and the work we do at RoS go to www.ros.gov.uk. For specific information regarding data email data@ros.gov.uk. You can also get updates sent straight to your inbox by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

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HousingScot March 2017  

HousingScot March 2017  


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