Extraordinary Low-Energy Modular House in the Outer Hebrides


Extraordinary Low-Energy Modular House in the Outer Hebrides

Winner of the Internorm Ryan Wernicki
Installation of the Year 2023

Winner of the Internorm Ryan Wernicki
Installation of the Year 2023


Watch the video of this projectThis unique prefabricated timber house was built in complete modules in Wales, and installed in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

We fitted the Internorm windows and sliding doors in Wales prior to the modules being trucked as wide loads to the islands.

If you think this project is familiar, it may be because it was the subject of an episode of Channel 5’s Build Your Dream Home in the Country. It was also on the cover of The Sunday Times property supplement and in magazines and websites.

The house was designed by Koto who specialise in Scandinavian-inspired, beautifully crafted, energy-neutral homes and cabins, built to the highest standards. "After our our client-to-be obtained the land in 2020, it quickly became apparent due to the harsh and unpredictable weather conditions there that a traditional on-site build would be a costly and very time consuming process," says co-founder Johnathon. "So modular construction seemed like an option worth exploring for them."

The four-bed home would be built from timber in Welshpool by Koto’s build partner, Unnos Systems. It was Unnos Systems who approached us in 2021, looking for a high-performing window suitable for the sometimes extreme weather conditions in the Outer Hebrides. After some discussions and a visit to our showroom, they decided that our Internorm windows would be perfect. With exceptional airtightness and world-class thermal and acoustic performance, these Austrian-built windows will stand up many, many years of the worst weather. The windows are made from sustainable Scandinavian timber which is an ideal match for the building’s design while the aluminium cladding is tough and low-maintenance.

Unnos also felt that we had the obsessive attention-to-detail that would match their own approach.

The Spectrum team installed the windows, including some big sliding doors, at the Unnos factory in Welshpool. Given the size of the sliding doors, we had concerns about flexing of the building during transportation leading to issues with smooth opening and were prepared to send a team to the islands to make adjustments. However, the quality of the build was so exceptional that there was no flexing and everything worked perfectly in situ! A credit to the quality of the work of the carpenters & joiners at Unnos — and to the quality of the fitting by the Spectrum team!

The modules weren’t just an empty shell — the build included the bathroom, kitchen and furniture, all hand-built by partners Kenton Jones Collection. Once completed, the seven modules were delivered by road and sea as seven modules and craned into position before "stitching" them together to complete the build. Some detailed planning went into the project — the ferry doors had been measured to ensure that the loads would pass through with just a few inches to spare!

We love the finished project. We love the way the building blends so well with the location, we love the light that floods the building and how the extensive glazing means that the ever-changing weather and moods of the island become part of daily life, inside and out.

We have already had discussions about future partnerships with Unnos and Koto and are excited to be involved with other exciting projects like this one. Watch this space!

Koto - lead architect
Unnos Systems – Build Contractor
Hiraeth – Technical architect
Koto Living – Interiors
Kenton Jones Ltd – Joinery and Furniture
Olco Studios – Photography

All images © Olco Studios


Read Less

Window Installation in Welshpool

Stills from "Building Your Dream Home in the Country", Channel 5

View Online on My5  © Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd