In 2011 Alexander House was nominated for a GTBS Goldstar award, and we were delighted to receive a runner's up award to add to our GTBS Gold Status.
We are very proud of our green credentials so please help us to recycle and reuse when you too visit Alexander House.
Click here for an excellent article about Alexander House, published by Homes Plus Scotland (opens in new window).
Alexander House is a brand new house built on the site of an old steading called Headdyke.
Yes, we would have loved to restore the old steading but as you can see it had gone beyond its practical life!
So, after taking the pragmatic view to replace the existing, Robert Adam was commissioned to design a new house for the site and a new house needed a new name. Alexander House was born.
In and around our new house we have tried to incorporate energy saving measures where ever possible, using natural, sustainable materials that will stand the test of time. We want this house to be here for generations to come to enjoy, love and cherish. After all it is not often that you get the chance to design, build and share your dream house!
Throughout the fabric of the house we have tried wherever possible to use sustainably produced, natural materials. The house itself is of clay block construction, with external timber insulation and a natural lime render finish, timber inside is from sustainable sources, finishes are eco–friendly and wherever possible we have low watt bulbs, some with 7 year bulb guarantees. Our walls are 550mm thick and when the heating was turned off by accident it took 3 days for anyone to notice, it holds the heat so well.
The slates on the roofs are reclaimed Scottish Ballachulish slates and gravels and stone have been provided by our local quarry just 3 miles away. Even our road has been topped with tar planings, the leftovers from road repairs around the county (occasionally there’s even a random cats-eye peeping out!).
Our furnishings are from recycled materials, antiques or simply those that other people no longer needed. We have spent hours sourcing just the right second-hand item to fit the house. Our kitchen table is hand made from reclaimed table legs and pine boards and our dining hall furniture has been handbuilt to last for generations to come. We are also avid subscribers to freecycle and when we no longer need something at the house it is put on freecycle for others to use.
All our under-floor heating and hot water are provided by a Ground Source Heat Pump which also heats the swimming pool and our showers mix water and air to reduce their hot water and therefore energy consumption. This in turn is supplied by water from our very own borehole onsite. As our Scottish water is 'soft' it is nice to drink, kind to kettles and needs much less soap for washing.
Everything possible is recycled, or composted. Open fires supplied with sustainably grown timber from the house grounds add to the cosy atmosphere, but also help our carbon footprint and reduce the heating required in those rooms.
Our cleaning products and bathroom guest products are organic and free of parabens, with a percentage of sales proceeds going to research to help the honeybee population.
All electrical items in the house have been chosen for their energy efficiency and there are lines for drying clothes outside and a pulley to dry clothes inside, although we do have a tumble dryer and drying cabinet because we understand that boots etc won’t fit on a pulley rack!
We encourage our guests to buy locally from some of the wonderful purveyors in Auchterarder. Alexa's Alladdin's Cave of vegetables and fruit, our local butchers, our chocolate heaven at Cocoa Mountain or one of our local restaurants, whether it be along at Gleneagles Hotel, or in Auchterarder itself. There is something to suit everyone.
The only fuels we use on site are logs, electricity and gas. The gas is just for the cookers and we monitor its usage and our electricity usage carefully. Everything we can do to minimise our use is looked at and we have also received planning permission for a new 15kw wind turbine to supply us our electricity and we are looking at a micro hydro scheme to see if we can become utterly independent of our grid supply. This will be installed when budget allows.
Our Green Credentials
At Alexander House we are committed to working in a sustainable way. We do our best to minimise our impact on the environment wherever possible.
- We comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice
- We continuously seek to improve our environmental and social performance
- We reduce pollution, emissions and waste
- We raise awareness, encourage participation and train employees in sustainable business practices
- We expect similar environmental standards from our suppliers and contractors
- We assist customers to use products and services in an environmentally friendly way
- We have minimised our risks associated with social and environmental issues
- We have joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme as an indicator of our sustainable practices