House Plans: Innovative Community Custom Build in Edinburgh

Articles by Build It magazine
by Build It
9th June 2018

Inspired by community housing projects in South America, John and Jenny Kinsley decided to embark on a collective build in Edinburgh’s Portobello.

They wanted to update the typical model of a Scottish tenement for modern living, including renewable features and open-plan interiors across six flats.

The end result proved well worth the challenges. John and Jenny’s top floor three-bedroom flat feels bright and spacious with an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area that offers fabulous sea views.

Fact file:
  • Names John & Jennifer Kinsley
  • Type of projectCommunity self-build
  • Construction methodCross-laminated timber frame
  • Project routeArchitect & main contractor
  • House size110m2 (entire development is 498m2)
  • Project cost £267,948 for the flat (£883,197 for entire development)

A workstation behind the sofa includes a clever alternating tread staircase, which leads up through a sliding overhead window to the roof garden above, and also doubles as a bookcase.

The apartment achieves Passivhaus standards of insulation and airtightness, and is fitted with a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system. The vents are hidden in hall and bathroom bulkheads to achieve clean, uninterrupted wooden ceilings.

Read the full story

Flat floor plan:

Kinsley floor plan

Self-build house plans re-created using Build It 3D Home Design Software

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