Well, I was only there for 33 hours, and I never got further than a very small part of Glasgow surrounding the exhibition centre, so this is obviously not a review of Scotland as such, but I did talk to a lot of people and heard some fascinating stories.
I was approached by two sets of people commissioning Passive Houses, one couple in Aberdeenshire, and a man called Ian who is involved in a plan to build 6 at Findhorn. Passive House really does seem to be in fashion now - lots of people have heard of it and it's gradually moving into the vernacular, although I am still not convinced everybody understands what it really means. The couple from Aberdeen wanted to know the best way to heat a Passive House, and I said I thought the jury was still out but that many people's old favourite, the wood burning stove, would probably blow a hole in the airtightness requirement. Anyone else any thoughts?
I met a couple who run a very proactive Project Management company called Quantum Forth. I was impressed by the service they offer.
And I caught up with Charles Stewart of SIPS Industries whose boundless enthusiasm never ceases to impress. The guy now has SIPS plants in Western Australia and South Africa, as well as his original business in Fife. Charles hails from Zimbabwe and is still very active in raising money for schools in southern Africa, and is also planning to fly across Africa in an Autogyro this summer. Check out Heli2Africa.
Perhaps the best story I came across was a Mr Disgruntled of Edinburgh who is planning to undertake a flat modernisation in that fair city. The job involves putting in an en-suite bathroom and he is in dispute with his building inspector who is insisting that the door is wide enough for wheelchair access, which, for one reason or another, renders his en-suite bathroom unviable. It just so happens that the bedroom door — which you need to go through to access the bathroom — isn't this wide (but then it's already there). And the flat just happens to be on the third floor and there is no lift. But will the building inspector yield? No way. The new door must be compliant. It's good to know that common sense is as thin on the ground in Scotland as it is elsewhere.