Knoydart Peninsula, Off-Grid Remote Build

JML SIPs were approached by a client looking to build an ambitious off-grid house on the remote Knoydart Peninsula in the Scottish Highlands. It was vital that the house be as energy efficient as possible, therefore the superior thermal performance of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) made it the perfect choice of building material. JML was also able to manufacture the entire SIPs kit off-site, reducing the on-site build time and avoiding any potential issues with materials shortages or supply issues once on-site.

  • Date: MAY 2019
  • Client: PRIVATE
  • Architect: D. KELLY DESIGN
  • Engineer: JML SIPs


Located on the west coast of Scotland, the site is raised and exposed to the elements. It was therefore vital that the building material was strong and airtight, delivering close to Passive House standards. With no mains electricity on site, it was crucial that the finished house be low-energy and able to run on solar and PV technology. SIPs were ideally suited for this project due to their low energy usage and high thermal performance. Building using SIPs also meant that no roof trusses were required, maximising the available space in the first floor of the finished building.

Described as the ‘last wilderness of Scotland’, the Knoydart Peninsula has no access by road. This meant that all deliveries had to be loaded onto a landing craft at nearby Mallaig and sailed to the site. Due to the shallow bay, deliveries could only be made at low tide when the boat could be grounded to allow machines access to offload. Once the tide came back in, the boat was refloated and returned to Mallaig


JML SIPs undertook the supply and erection of the full SIPs kit for this project, manufacturing the panels in its Perthshire factory.

JML also worked closely with its well-established transport network to coordinate the complex logistics required for delivery from its factory to Mallaig Pier, on to the Knoydart Peninsula before finally arriving at the site. The remote nature of this project brought a number of logistical and location specific challenges which JML SIPs design and on-site teams are well equipped to deal with.

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