Image from MEARU's Home Starter Guide Report, June 2012

Home Starter Guide >

Research Themes 
Architecture, Urbanism & the Public Sphere

Research Staff
Matt Bridestock
Rosalie Menon
Professor Tim Sharpe

CIC Online Feasibility Study Award

Partner organisation
The Home Log Book Company

This project built on earlier MEARU research and work with the Scottish Government on occupant guides which highlighted the benefits to home energy efficiency of providing simple, bespoke instructions for operating a new house.

In 2011, Scottish building regulations introduced optional sustainability standards for new housing. These included the provision of a ‘quick start user guide’ for occupants that would promote energy efficiency through clear visual instructions for operating their new house, and deliver bespoke information about the building fabric, mechanical systems, ventilation strategies and other sustainability features.

Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) and The Home Log Book Company worked together to design and deliver a template for a ‘quick start’ housing guide that meets the sustainability requirements set by Scottish building regulations. The project identified the most effective process of gathering this information and proposed a simple template which could be replicated by housing providers. A pilot guide was tested within a range of new house owners and tenants in both the public and private sectors and feedback incorporated into the final template.

The results of this research reinforce previous studies which indicate that residents need information about how their home was designed and constructed in order to be able to operate the house in the most energy efficient manner. The resulting Home Starter Guide template gives housing providers a straightforward means of delivering this information to residents, allows them to comply with sustainability regulations, and ensures that occupants understand and operate their home efficiently, leading to improved environmental performance. The Home Starter Guide template has now been implemented by both public sector housing providers and leading private house builders.