New West Lothian eco training centre will help Scotland reach net zero targets

Scotland’s first eco construction training centre is teaching students key skills to deliver net zero targets.

The newly opened state-of-the-art facility at West Lothian College supports sustainable construction and energy efficiencies.

It was constructed by award-winning McTaggart Construction and will provide training for 500 young people in its first year.

The Ecohouse has two buildings. One is completed to Platinum Building standards with certified air tightness and thermal properties. The other is a shell house for developing skills, knowledge and practical experience in sustainable construction, as well as efficient and effective renewable energy.

Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Higher and Further Education, officially opened the Skills Centre for Sustainable Living last month.

He said: “This unique launch will help address the changing skills needs of industry sectors aiming to achieve a net zero economy.

“Supporting Scotland’s current and future workforce to develop the skills needed for the net zero transition is a priority and I’m pleased to see our funding used for such an innovative project, especially one so founded in partnership working.”

Janice Russell, Managing Director of McTaggart Construction, said: “We are delighted to be part of a much-needed project to create a highly skilled workforce for the future, capable of working on the latest sustainable and renewable technologies and meeting industry needs.”

One of the houses is built to low-carbon standards with triple glazing, solar panels, an air source heat pump, heat recovery ventilations and electric car charging.

It delivers training and upskilling opportunities in: air tightness testing; thermal imaging; MHVR (heat recovery ventilation) testing; Energy Performance Certificate analysis; PV (devices that convert sunlight into electrical energy) analysis, and electric vehicle charging.

The shell house is the same size as the main house but with no internal fittings or walls, for developing the practical skills to retrofit to low-carbon standards and test the integrity of the work on completion.

Training includes: Installation, testing and commissioning of air source heat pumps; PV panel installations; solar thermal installations; alternative forms of internal heating installations; EPC calculations; air tightness testing and monitoring, and; external and internal wall insulation.

The Alex Linkston Skills Centre for Sustainable Living is named after the former chief executive of West Lothian Council and the Chair of West Lothian College.

Jackie Galbraith, Principal of West Lothian College said: “Our Skills Centre for Sustainable Living will play a vital role in helping West Lothian achieve its net zero ambitions by enabling current and future workers to gain the necessary skills to build a carbon neutral future.”

The Ecohouse aims to create high value green jobs; upskill the current workforce in sustainable construction skills and smart technologies for sustainable independent living at home, and; create a future pipeline of skilled workers.”

It was designed by MAST Architects and G3 Consulting Engineers Ltd and built with £493,436 funding from West Lothian Council’s allocation from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme.

West Lothian Council’s Executive councillor for Economy, Community Empowerment and Wealth Building, Kirsteen Sullivan added: “With the growing importance of the green economy, these skills will be increasingly valued by employers so will help students secure good jobs in an expanding sector.”

Partners in the project include West Lothian Council, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot Watt University, Built Environment–Smarter Transformation (formerly the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre), industry and housing associations.

For more information about the Skills Centre for Sustainable Living at West Lothian College visit

The article above was written by Debbie Hall – a Daily Record press release. Link to article here: New West Lothian eco training centre will help Scotland reach net zero targets – Daily Record

McTaggart Group
Tod House, Templand Road,
Dalry, Ayrshire KA24 5EU
01294 832195